WATCH | Alicia Keys reacts to Khanyisa Jaceni cover of ‘Un-thinkable’ in isiXhosa

06 October 2023 - 11:46
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Khanyisa is beaming with pride as more international stars give her the nod.
Khanyisa is beaming with pride as more international stars give her the nod.
Image: Instagram/Khanyisa Jaceni

Khanyisa Jaceni got a nod from American singer Alicia Keys for her cover of Un-thinkable (I’m Ready).

After losing her job as a computer-aided draughting operator during retrenchments due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Khanyisa started her social media career and became popular as a TikTok sensation.

On YouTube, Khanyisa used to showcase her singing talent, uploading videos of her remaking English songs to isiXhosa, covering artists including Grammy award-winning singer HER, Daniel Caesar, and Alicia, among many others. 

A year after Khanyisa remade Alicia's song, the singer took to her TikTok to share the video and sing along to her version. 

“It feels amazing. I can't describe but it's definitely an amazing feeling. It was my intention for her to see it anyway, so now that she did I am happy. I'm grateful I didn't stop. These are reasons for me to keep going. I'm so happy I didn't give up on myself,” Khanyisa told TshisaLIVE. 

She has plans to go international with her music career and said she is grateful for how social media has fast-tracked global reach for creatives.

“I would love to break into the international music space but with the South African sound. I'd like to also be one of the people who carry our sound throughout the world.

“One thing I thought of when this social media thing was unfolding was always put yourself out there, because this video I posted lasted a year. Always post and don't be afraid to post, and don't delete your posts. I look super crusty in that video but it got the recognition.

“Putting yourself out there is better than waiting for someone to choose you. This generation must do away with waiting to be chosen and start choosing themselves and putting themselves out there. This is what this highlights for me. You've got nothing to lose by putting yourself out there.”

Watch the video below:

In early May, Khanyisa’s hit song Zula Zula  got American rapper Wiz Khalifa jamming.

In a clip doing the rounds on Instagram and TikTok, Wiz can be seen moving to the beat of the song.

She describes stardom as like any other job that comes with many pressures that demand you take care of your mental health.

“Fame comes with its pressures. It's just like any other job. No money comes free. There are those days where you are really demotivated and you have to push yourself to work. It looks all fun but it's costly on my mental health and that's why I prioritise my mental health before anything else.

No money comes free. There are those days where you have to push yourself to work.

“I get bullied almost every other day and discover someone who doesn't like me, so you need to constantly reassure yourself.” 

In dealing with the bullying, she knows when to take time off to drown out the noise. 

“I stay away from negative things that could be said about me. I scroll fast and avoid things that could trigger or affect me and keep my head up high.”



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