International Gospel Artist HLE Makes Her US Debut
Motown Gospel introduces the US to the ministry of HLE. A pastor’s daughter born in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, in 1991, singer Hlengiwe Ntombela—better known as Hle—has brought glamorous soul power to South Africa’s contemporary-gospel scene since joining Joyous Celebration in 2016. HLE began her career as a backing vocalist for Ntokozo Mbambo, and has collaborated with Hlengiwe Mhlaba and gospel giant Benjamin Dube. But it’s her 2020 solo debut, Your Kingdom on Earth, recorded with the award-winning producer Siyanqoba Mthethwa, that established Hle as ruler of her own musical dominion. Funky, soulful, and majestic tracks like iTunes chart-topper “Dwala,” “Living Hope,” and “You Are” (a colorful series of encomiums to Jesus) ascend from simmering foundations to ecstatic climaxes. That same year, she also launched her intimate Heart of Worship Project on YouTube, while carving out time to host the One Gospel channel TV shows Adlib and VIP Invite.