Hle taps global market with Motown Gospel deal

Musician joins megastars like Kelly Price

Hlengiwe Ntombela has signed a deal with American-based recording company Motown Gospel.
Hlengiwe Ntombela has signed a deal with American-based recording company Motown Gospel.
Image: Supplied

Gospel star Hlengiwe Ntombela has signed a deal with American-based recording company Motown Gospel.

The giant label that is based in Nashville made the big announcement last night.

Signing with Motown Gospel means the singer, who is famously known as Hle, will reach a global market.

The announcement comes  after a whirlwind season of success for Hle that includes her debut album Your Kingdom on Earth that peaked at number one position on Apple Music’s Gospel Albums chart in seven countries.

It further won the best Contemporary Faith Album at the South African Music Award (SAMA) last year. Motown Gospel, a division of Capitol CMG and Universal Music Group, has gospel stars like Kelly Price, Merry Clayton and Tasha Cobbs Leonard in their stable.

“Motown Gospel/Capitol CMG is a true giant of the industry, known for cultivating some of the world’s greatest artists. I’m excited to become one of them as my music is taken across the globe,” Ntombela said.

“When God trusts you with such a task, it means He wants you to take his gospel to the world. I have a responsibility now because there are more ears and souls that will be waiting for my music. Honesty, as much as I am a hard worker, I  don’t have a hand in this. It’s all God’s work. As much as I signed on the dotted line in November, I am still trying to process this.”

According to Ntombela, she was approached by one of Motown Gospel executives in November 2020. She said the company spent the whole of last year trying to get her into their books.

The 30-year-old musician, who is a product of Joyous Celebration, comes from Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal.

“I  still remember I was about to rehearse for a show in Cape Town when I saw the messages from one of the executives. The executive mentioned that he had been following me and had listened to my album and wanted to talk more.

"We had a Zoom immediately right there. We then had a follow-up meeting with my team. We communicated the whole year until I signed the contract. This means I will be spending months in America but some of the things will be done remotely.”

Monica Coates and EJ Gaines, co-executive directors of Motown Gospel, said: “As a powerful multimedia presence, Hle seamlessly combines creativity and beauty with personal ministry. Hle elegantly transcends culture. We are delighted to partner with her in her vision to reach a global audience.”

In addition to her thriving solo career and a good year, Ntombela recently landed a presenting job to host VIP Invite, an uplifting television series that starts on Sunday on Mzansi Magic Music on channel 321.

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