M-Net has recently announced a massive shake-up ahead of the third season of The Voice South Africa. First, Anele Mdoda was announced as the show’s host replacing Lungile Radu and Stacey Norman and now, it seems the entire coaching panel will be refreshed as well. To date, the channel announced that rapper Riky Rick and Afrikaans pop star Riana Nel will serve as two of the brand-new coaches.

Riky Rick is no stranger to the local music industry. Born as Rikado Makhado in KwaMashu, a township north of Durban, Riky made his way to Johannesburg to pursue a career in film but ended up teaching himself how to produce music as part of a school project. While he may now be a fashionista deluxe, with an impressive list of music success stories – he struggled to build up a following… until he started fusing South African hip hop with kwaito! His 2014 single, ‘Boss Zonke’, became one of the biggest hits of the year. Soon after that he released his platinum-selling debut album, ‘Family Values’, which won an MTV Award among many other accolades. Then followed his fashion-and-sapper-inspired 2016 anthem ‘Sidlukotini’, the Best Hit Single of 2017.

Meanwhile, Riana Nel has cemented herself as one of the most successful Afrikaans artists ever through her impressive career so far. Riana’s impressive résumé includes a long list of chart-topping songs, hit albums and awards. It all started in 2001 with her first Gospel album ‘Oopmond’, which was honoured in two categories at the Lier Awards: Best New Artist and Best Female Vocalist. In the same year she won the Geraas awards for Best Gospel Artist and Best New Artist. But it was her first pop album ‘Die Moeite Werd’ from 2012, and, more recently 2014’s ‘Die Regte Tyd’, that truly turned her into a music awards darling. When asked, unassuming Riana will reveal that she has raked in numerous SAMA and Ghoema Awards as well.

Naturally, both acts are incredibly excited about joining the show’s new season. “I am ready to be blown away and be the cheerleader for people who really can – and want to – make singing their career,” Riana says. “I am looking for that goosebump-inducing kind of voice that makes you want to cry, laugh or just get up off your chair and then shout ‘yasss’! In other words, something that connects with my heart!” Riky adds “It’s so cool to be part of The Voice South Africa. If the talent at the Blind Auditions know what’s good for them, they’ll pick ME as their coach! I’ll give them that extra edge in presentation, execution and confidence … and make sure their voices are heard!”

The other two coaches will be announced later this week.

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