Capetonian singer and producer, Valley Sixteen (real name Gabi du Plessis) is yet another local talent that is making it despite being turned away at local reality singing show Idols South Africa.
After a stinging comment, made about her voice at the age of 17, saw her exit Idols SA, du Plessis found herself with no real understanding of who she was musically. But after time spent honing her skills by writing hit songs for other artists, du Plessis’ reintroduction to the industry under the moniker of Valley Sixteen sees her triumphantly return to her infectious pop roots.
And this week she was announced as latest Apple Music Up Next South Africa artist, a program which launched in early 2021 is a local version of their global emerging artist platform geared towards identifying and showcasing rising talent.
"I can’t even explain how much it means to me to be an Apple Music Up Next artist. I have followed the journeys of each and every Up Next artist since 2015, and if I could go back in time and tell my 15-year-old self that one day that would be her, she would never have believed me,” the singer tells Apple Music.
“To have an opportunity to reach so many new people with my music is all I’ve ever wanted. The journey so far has been a collection of many highs and lows, but I can confidently say that I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the Apple Music South Africa team believing in me. This is a moment in time that I’ll never be able to forget, and to be in such great company is absolutely surreal. I can’t wait for what’s to come."
Recorded on apartment floors in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Munich, Valley Sixteen’s debut EP, Apartment Flaws, is a tour de force release intended to silence her critics, tackling matters of the heart (“Borderline”, “Sad Eyes”) and mental health (“Fake”), while acknowledging how far she’s come on her journey of self discovery.
She is third talent grace the local program after Durban trap talent Blxckie and Vaal talent SiBI - where a curated playlist features a dynamic class of new and emerging artists, thoughtfully hand-picked by Apple Music editors from around the world.The playlist is genre agnostic and represents a line-up of artists that the editors are passionate about and eager to expose to a larger audience.
The vast global Up Next roster of past talent includes Grammy-nominated and critically lauded talent like 6lack, Daniel Caesar, H.E.R., Greta Van Fleet, Khalid, Amy Shark, Billie Eilish, Sabrina Claudio, Sigrid, Mr Eazi, Stefflon Don, Bad Bunny, Juice WLRD, Bazzi, Jax Jones, NCT 127, Summer Walker, Tierra Whack, Dean Lewis, Pink Sweat$, Koffee, Megan Thee Stallion, Burna Boy, Clairo, Lunay, Jessie Reyez, Orville Peck, Victoria Monét, Ingrid Andress, Conan Gray, Don Toliver, Rema, BENEE, Holly Humberstone, Natanael Cano, Givēon, beabadoobee, Arlo Parks and Tate McRae.