Hailing from Johannesburg, Reba Red aka Reabetswe Mohlabane, is the latest winner announced in the Hunter’s x Jacquel Culture House (JCH) nationwide Talent Search. Reba Red is a 26-year-old R&B and jazz vocalist/songwriter.
Written by HYPE staff, Photos: Supplied
Hunter’s x JCH is a partnership between multi-award-winning African pop maverick, TRESOR and Hunter’s Premium Cider. The collab seeks to be an empowerment platform, providing support and career development through ongoing mentorship and industry knowledge-sharing; #RefreshingtheRules of the music industry.
Reba Red describes herself as a quiet girl who kept to herself and her close-knit group of friends. “No one even knew I could sing until Grade 10! I would ditch my homework duties to play CDs and sing along out loud in my mom’s car. That’s what I did with most of my time – perfecting my Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston notes. This happened so often that I let the car battery die. In order for my talent and the car battery to not die again, my mother taught me how to put the gear lever in neutral and switch on the car for a bit to charge the battery,” explains Reba Red. “My mom deserves a massive shout-out for letting me do my thing; the time in the car gave me great voice control from learning all those songs.”
Reba Red’s music is uplifting, the kind that will make you believe in love again. It will remind you to be kind to yourself and view life’s challenges as lessons and not failures – self-reflective instead of destructive. Having no formal training or education in music, her natural talent, passion and determination have driven her to self-learn everything.
“Music kind of chose me, and to be honest, I tried to ignore it, but alas, all my greatest work and opportunities to date have come from music. It’s where I thrive, where I am at my best and where I don’t need to second guess myself; everything is driven by intuition and feeling. I get to express myself fully and be experimental. Out of all life’s choices I was faced with, music was a no-brainer. I only started releasing music in February 2022, even though I have been singing and writing for as long as I can remember, but somehow, releasing music came late for me. Call me a late bloomer vele vele, but I trust the process, and I am happy that everything has happened the way it did. The road ahead is longer than the one I’ve left behind, and I am excited about the future,” says Reba Red.
The Hunter’s x Jacquel Culture House initiative is exactly what up-and-coming artists need. In a turbulent industry, having someone like TRESOR recognise you and take you under his wing is almost worth more than money, a game changer in its own right. Acting as Reba Red’s mentor, TRESOR has spent a lot of time mentoring and jamming with her. He has exposed a bit of himself to this aspiring new artist and revealed a bit about his own journey.
“After the ‘shell shock’ wore off, I got to have the best time with TRESOR. He is such a chilled guy, and so humble, and he gave me gold nuggets to carry with me throughout this journey, which I like to call a ‘chess mate’. Stay humble and know when to talk and when to listen. Always give 100%. Winning this definitely puts me on the map in terms of being more exposed to the industry and its dealings. I’ve already met a few people I look forward to working with and seeing how I can be of value and service. Receiving the recording equipment has also solved the one roadblock I was facing,” concludes Reba Red.
Follow Hunter’s and Jacquel Culture House’s social media platforms for more information and announcements around this #RefreshTheRules initiative.