Una Rams speaks relatable love language of Gen Z

Una Rams.
Una Rams.
Image: Supplied

“A beautiful man with a beautiful heart who makes some of the most beautiful music.”

That is how self-proclaimed thought leader and futurist Una Rams describes himself.

The 25-year-old musician could not have put it better — plus he strives to make music that stands the test of time. But if we have to find a genre for his eclectic sound, Una believes R&B would be the perfect bracket.

Take a listen to his latest project, Hold Me When it’s Cold: A Mixtape, which is as serene as indulging in ice-cream on a warm spring day. The seven-track sonic offering features guest appearances by Langa Mavuso, Muzi and Lucille Slide on love songs Next2me, Who Do I Call? and Closer2You.

“The pandemic has forced a lot of us to be stuck with ourselves. I had to learn not to be afraid of that. So, I had music. Some people crave a cigarette, but I’d crave to go to studio and make music,” Una says in explaining the process of making the EP.

“So, with making this project I was in a place where I felt stuck. My relationship was on shaky ground. But every time I went to studio, it made me feel like things will be better. What made it even better was that every time I sent the unreleased songs to my girl, our relationship would feel better.”

Over the last few years through releases such as Wavy Baby, Una has not only emerged as a triple threat — singing, rapping and producing — but has spoken the relatable love language of Gen Z. Listen to his psychedelic and offbeat ballad Good Intentions (featuring Thabsie) that exquisitely captures the dizzy and trippy emotions of passion and desire.

It comes as no surprise that Una is the latest local artist to be spotlighted under Apple Music’s Up Next playlist. “It feels amazing and I’m super thrilled. It’s a first for me and affirming. It’s one thing to believe in yourself and another to see other people agree and celebrate you,” Una shares.

“I always wanted to grow up with my audience and reflect the point in time in my life of where I am at. When I was younger my relationships were very much like puppy love and at this point I’m growing up and thinking a lot about my future. You can sense that maturity in the songs and sounds. It’s the blossoming of the flower.”

Una was born Unarine Rambani in Makwarela, outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo, one of six children. As early as the age of seven he knew that he was destined to be on stage. He recalls forming a boy band with his brother when he was in Grade 4. His brother used to make beats on his computer and Una remembers writing his first verse around the same period.

They tried to perform at his primary school, but the CD player didn’t work. They then tried beatboxing, but Una says the performance was a mess.

While studying computer science at the University of Pretoria his pursuit of music as a career started. He graduated in 2018 and he plans to get his honours degree.

“I can think back to a time when I was seven years old, doing Saturday chores around the yard. We had these big leafy plants and I used to perform to them. Somewhere deep down I always knew I would get to a point where I was successful,” Una says.

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