South African singer Loyiso Bala was appointed National Goodwill Ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in October 2012 in Pretoria, South Africa. In his role as the national UNAIDS National Goodwill Ambassador, Loyiso Bala raises awareness around HIV testing and disclosure, reduction of stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV, and gender inequality, including violence against women and girls.
As a teenager Loyiso Bala was classically trained, finishing top of his class, at the prestigious Drakensberg Boys Choir in South Africa. At the age of 19 he became the youngest conductor for the National Youth Choir.
This laid the foundation for his solo career and at the end of 2002 he embarked on a world tour performing in London, America, Asia and the Middle East. His hit singles such as Girl without a Name and Gimme the Night earned him a reputation as South Africa’s king of R&B.
Loyiso Bala has received numerous awards for his work ranging from five South African Music Awards (SAMAs), three Metro FM Awards and a South African Film and TV Award (SAFTA) for Best Musical Score.
Loyiso has performed alongside prominent artists, including Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, John Legend, Brian McKnight, Elton John, Will Smith and Akon. His most memorable performances have been singing for some of the world’s foremost personalities, such as Nelson Mandela, Richard Branson, Gordon Brown, Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and many more.
A philanthropist at heart, Loyiso Bala is an ambassador for Nelson Mandela’s 466/64, Cotlands, the Smile Foundation and the South African Field Band Foundation.
His partnership with 466/64 lead him to put on a stellar performance for an audience of over 46 000 at the Nelson Mandela 466/64 concert in Hyde Park, London in July 2008 and at Radio City Hall, New York for Nelson Mandela's 91st birthday celebration on 18 July 2009.
In addition, he was one of the few local artists chosen to perform alongside Alicia Keys, Shakira, the Black Eyed Peas and John Legend at the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off celebration concert, which took place at Soweto's Orlando Stadium in front of 30 000 fans on the 10 June – one day before the opening match of the 2010 World Cup.
He also produced and co-wrote South African Idols Season VI runner up, Lloyd Cele’s debut album One, which won Lloyd his first SAMA for the ‘Best Pop Album’ category and Loyiso his first SAMA nomination for ‘Best Producer’ at the MTN SAMA awards in 2012.
"My main focus to date has been on live performances with my band,” said Loyiso Bala. “Live performances are where I am able to bring everything I love about music together on one great platform”.