Sands, whose real name is Sandziso Matsebula, is a guitarist, songwriter, performing artist and Afro soul singer born and bred in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Sands’ journey as an artist began in high school when his brother-in-law bought him a guitar and taught him a few chords. He taught himself from then on and got a confidence boost from studying music. He’s been doing music since 2008.
He rose to fame in 2015 when he won Best Radio Song of 2015 (for his song Vuma) and Male Artist of the Year at the National Arts and Culture Awards (NACA). But it was his catchy song Tigi, sung in siSwati, which helped him break into the South African music scene nd became a house-hold name.
Sands Family & Upbringing
When he was younger, sands used to live with her mom, step dad and younger sister in Fonteyn in the outskirts of Mbabane. Music has always been his first love. However, his parents wanted him to study because they didn’t understand why he wanted to do the whole music thing. To respect their wishes, He studied Business Communications at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, but also studied music part-time at Yandza Music School.
Early Years in Music
As a young man, sands was inspired by South Africa’s gospel artist, Kekeletso who used to come nd perform in his church. Every time I heard music, I felt emancipated and happy and I knew straight away that music was my destiny.
He used to be a member of a band Sisekelo, which used to sing any type of music from gospel, RnB, soft rock. All their songs were in SiSwati and they would add a little bit of English here and there. The group consisted of seven members who met when they were students at Yandza Music School.
He performed around campus until he met Intalektual, and they started recording with the producer Sub Jamz, who’s highly respected in the kingdom.
In 2014, he teamed up with renowned Swazi poet and rapper Qibho Intalektual. The duo released an EP, which had a successful single, “Ntfombatane Lenhle,” that was almost as infectious as “Tigi.”
In November 2015, he released another single called ‘Mbali’ in honor of the maidens who had passed away in a horrific accident.
After the release of his debut love-soaked Afro-soul album, Sands of Time in 2017, Sands started reaching bigger audiences both in Eswatini and South Africa. In less than six months of the album release, Sands was already the who’s who in the music industry.
His song, Tigi did more than well, it flew the flag for him. he has become the most watched and sought-after talent of the moment.
In 2018, Tigi was considered for a Sama in the Record of the Year category but was disqualified because he was not South Africa.
In 2020, he collaborated with Lesotho’s Village Pope Tshepo Tshola in a song titled ‘Ngiyathandaza’. ‘Ngiyathandaza’ is his first collaboration with a highly acclaimed veteran musician like Tshepo Tshola even though he has featured other well-known artists such as locally based Mbongiseni Bholoja Ngubane who is also known as the Swazi Soul singer as well as South Africa’s Loyiso Bala.
In 2021, he debuted another single ‘Emaciniso’, which Emaciniso dropped exclusively out on Trace Africa track from his album ‘Rhythm of Sands’.
Thobile (feat. Velemseni Ndzimandze)
Umphefumulo (feat. Velemseni Ndzimandze)
Uyamdzinga (feat. Gugu Zulu)
Kubanawe (feat. Mangaliso Ntshangase)
2015 Best Radio Song – Vuma
2015 Male Artist of the Year at the National Arts and Culture Awards (NACA).
2018 Swazi Mobile Best Artist
2018 Carson group Best Album
MTN SWAMA Awards 2020
Most downloaded Callertune- Sands ft. Tsepo Tshola – Ngiyathandaza
His Single, Tigi featured on Metro FM Top 40 for more than two weeks, play listed on BBC1 Xtra and was in the top 10 iTunes search for two months.
2016). His song ‘Vuma’ was allocated sixth spot on the Durban radio station’s Gagasi FM, Afro Countdown.
The song also played on national South African stations like Ukhozi FM, Metro FM and Umhlobo Wenene FM.
Sands is the first Swazi artist to headline the popular MTN Bushfire event.
He performed in corporate functions and South African festivals such as Midmar and Groundzero.