Zoë Modiga born and raised in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, is the quintessential artist who represents the present and future of South African music. Drawing from human experiences, identity and storytelling, she creates a distinct sound to communicate a modern, evolving African story without loosing its essence.
As a lively, transcendent performer with a background in classical and jazz training, she is known to enchant audiences into another world while having an evocative individualism in fashion and imagery.
Zoë is an independent artist, releasing under her label Yelloëwax Pty Ltd. She is celebrated with awards such as the Mbokodo Award - an event to recognise women who have shown leadership, fostered growth and made efforts to strengthen the arts (2018), Mzantsi Jazz Awards for: Best Jazz Contemporary Album, Best Newcomer in Jazz and Best Jazz Song (2018) and SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition (2015). Zoë’s debut album was nominated for Best Jazz Album and Best African Artist for the 24th South African Music Awards 2018.
She saw the release of her highly anticipated sophomore album ‘Inganekwane’ in June (2020) which hit the top 10 on the Apple Music SA Charts and #1 on the Apple Music SA World Charts, the rave reviews cementing her place as an artists of excellence both at home in South Africa and across the globe. Her album cover also won Dopest Album Cover of 2020 by African Design League.She has been nominated for female artist of the year by the vn streaming, best African jazz artists at the afrimmas (2021) and won best engineered album at the samas (2021).
Despite the global pandemic she has been able to spearhead virtual performances throughout the year, collaborating with the likes of the Credo Mutwa Foundation, Redbull, PUMA and Goethe Institute to name a few.
The impact of Zoë’s messages has materialised with her being the cover girl for renowned British-based publication, Songlines UK (2020) and a proudly South African publication, Botaki Youth Magazine : Women’s Edition (2020).
Zoë has performed at celebrated festivals at home in South Africa such as, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, Durban Jazz Festival, Oppikoppi, Rocking the Daisies, Afropunk, Redbull Music Festival, Hugh Masekela Heritage Festival, Joburg Film Festival, Fete De La Musique, Blooming Sounds, Mzansi Fela, Basha Uhuru Festival, and many more. Internationally, she has played at the MTN Bushfire Festival (Swaziland), Africadelic, toured Mozambique and Nigeria, participated in Somi’s Africa Salon series (New York) and production, “Dreaming Zenzile” (New York/Utah) - a celebration of Miriam Makebas life and frequents world tours with a music collective called, Seba Kaapstad.
True to her pan African activism, she has partnered with allies, university students, academics, war survivors and artists, with the support of the African Union for the Silencing the Guns campaign. This is a pledge for peace, aiming to address the issues of war and civil unrest in Africa.
Zoë has collaborated with some of South Africa’s finest musicians including Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Thandiswa Mazwai, Johnny Clegg, Simphiwe Dana, Abigail Kubeka, Madala Kunene, Louis Maholo, Tshepo Tshola and many more.
An authentic, compelling artist challenging the status quo, Zoë Modiga is steadily creating an immortal legacy of cultural impact through music, fashion and storytelling.
PHOTO BY: TATENDA CHIDORA
PHOTO BY: TATENDA CHIDORA