TikTok: John Legend, Mthandazo Gatya, #Nervous tune hits right note

The act of innovating requires a certain level of risk fueled by a vision.

To do something different from the norm requires a certain level of confidence, but an aptitude to challenge the norm to carve a new way of doing something.

RnB global superstar John Legend seems to have harnessed that innovative energy to carve a new way of connecting to fellow musicians on a global scale.

Years ago, musicians used to contact other artists through tedious processes hosting an audition which meant securing a venue to comb through hundreds of potential talents – just for duets or back up singers.

If you’ve lived long enough you know that sometimes the most gifted people in the world, sometimes never meet with opportunity.

Back to Mr Legend

The RnB singer recorded himself singing a song from his latest album Legend.

Singing the song titled Nervous the muso, recorded a verse from his song, and publicly challenged fellow musicians to collaborate with him on the track using TikTok.

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Titled the Nervous: Open verse challenge, on TikTok Legend begins singing lyrics to his debut song only to stop after a verse and wait for a fellow artist to join in.

@johnlegend #OpenVerseChallenge ♬ Nervous Open Verse Challenge – John Legend

Global magic

The video with over 67 000 views, 1755 comments and and increasing 2956 shares seems to have ticked all the right notes on the video sharing app.

Platinum selling singer and songwriter Mthandazo Gatya, rose to the challenge.

Gatya singing in one of South Africa’s native languages, Zulu, added a light, and spirited emotion to the Legend hit.

Thousands commented to ask Legend to close the challenge since a clear winner for the challenge was presumed to be Gatya.

Gatya, a serenading Zulu musician quickly encompassed the song’s message and delivered a Zulu interpretation of a man still getting nervous at the site of his love.

With over 1.2 million views and increasing, Gatya’s video quickly trended with the artist translating I still get nervous into Zulu.

The talented Gatya’s verse explains how his knees still buckle when he sees his muse, a perfect combination of two musicians worlds apart, with one common heart string.


#duet with @John Legend #nervous #johnlegend #openversechallenge #fytシ

♬ Nervous – John Legend

Gatya on social media thanked everyone who made sure that Legend saw his input.

He confirmed Legend loved the mix, but wouldn’t say what the next move would be.

Faster connections

Social media has become the critical tool for any artist, brand and company.

Emerging platforms such as TikTok, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram have fast become the engines to build real-time connections between artists and their fans.

Artists to date can simply post new content on their social media platforms for fans to get news straight to their phones.

This allows direct connections between artists and their music consumers.

A positive shift from the way duets were put together in the past.

Legends idea to appeal for a duet online – through TikTok, solidifies how technology has fast solidified that the world has become a global village.

While most social media platforms have seen growth since 2020, TikTok takes the crown, as the fastest growing social media channel in 2022.

The content creation app appears to have struck the right strings on what consumers want, quick content, style hacks, and technology updates all in under 30 seconds.

Also read: Apple pays for Will Smith’s slap

  • TikTok duo John Legend, Mthandazo Gatya set new industry tone

    Thank you John Legend, South African urban artist Mthandazo Gatya wrote as he thanked RnB superstar John Legend for performing with him on stage.

    The pair sang on stage together on Saturday, following rumours of a live performance last week.

    Gatya and Legend trended last week following the pairs’ impromptu meeting over social media app TikTok.

    The pair trended after Legend kicked of a singing challenge, that Gatya met by singing a rendition of Legend’s song Nervous in Zulu.

    Here are three things ththe at pair did right, which carved a new direction in music production.

    Developed new relationships a different way – innovate.

    To keep and stay abreast of the latest technological advances can be daunting.

    For Legend, recording the track Nervous, only to launch it as a challenge on social media meant the challenge would receive global appeal.

    Old ways of connecting have become slightly stale and Legend’s innovative form of campaigning for his album ticked a necessary box, which seems to have paid off.

    Seized the moment at global speed

    Luck, is often when opportunity meets preparation.

    The pair’s meeting was crucial and thanks to the Bidvest Group, the pair met and performed, setting a new normal for global celebrities to appeal to other global artists for duets – at a faster pace.

    Global reach

    Legend could have sourced a local artists from the same area he is from.

    To appeal to another global artist meant the pair could reach different and new audiences, therefor catapulting their marketing to new markets.

    To stay relevant requires constant innovation. To initiate a strategy and see it through has to be an example Legend will be remembered for.

    He might not be the first to do it, but his video will for a long time be used as an example to the power of social media.

    Gatya has been ecstatic over his fresh set of attention. Here’s what he had to say.

    [Video curtesy SABC News]


    @mthandazogatya performs live with @johnlegend after his Tiktok video of his African rendition of John Legend’s Nervous went viral. #johnlegend #mthandazo #southafrica #mzansi #tiktoksouthafrica #tiktok

    ♬ original sound – SA HIP HOP 247

    Also read: Four things banks should let go of in 2022



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