Zahara makes her debut as new amapiano queen

08 Nov, 2023 - 11:11 0 Views
Zahara makes her debut as new amapiano queen June 13 2014. MULTI-award-winning Afro- Zahara performs at the Oude Meester Ekurhuleni Comes Alive at Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg. Pic: Veli Nhlapo. . © Sowetan

The Sunday News

Prepare for a new era of Zahara as queen of the yanos – those youngins better watch out. The South African award-winning singer is dropping on Friday a new amapiano track called Guqa Ngedolo.

While she was not sold at the idea initially, Zahara said after hearing her vocals supported by a hybrid of deep house, jazz and lounge music; then finished with synths and wide percussive basslines, she knew she was entering a new phase. Her new body of work is composed by veteran music producer and longtime friend Mojalefa Thebe, better known as Mjakes.

“This was all Bhut’Mjakes’ idea. He’s the one who came to me and requested I try amapiano, and because I’ve known him for so long, most of my career really, I thought to myself: ‘why not?,” said the East London-born singer.

“Seeing that I write songs about my life, my experiences, how I’m feeling about everything that happens around me, it doesn’t really matter which beat or genre my lyrics or vocals are on. My whole being is to inspire people through my music and the genre doesn’t really need to factor.”

Zahara is synonymous with her acoustic guitar and Afro-centric sound, which she marries with her introspective lyrics about life, struggles and victories.

“When you’re a musician, you’ll forever be boxed in a category or offering. But what people don’t realise is that as musicians, we need to be innovative, to elevate ourselves and evolve with the times and that’s what I’m doing. I want to become a better musician hence I’m dipping my toes in something new.”

Since entering the music industry in 2011, Zahara has faced several highs and lows. She has made headlines over record label drama, quarrels over masters of her songs and financial difficulties. She said she was grateful to her supporters for sticking with her for 12 years.

“I’m glad that I was able to give hope to people and heal them through my music, but the most I am grateful for is that I am able to be myself and still be accepted by my supporters. They held me down during tough times. Every time I meet them, they always tell me that they are praying for me, and that makes me happy. This is why it was easy for me to try a new genre because I knew they’d understand this move.”

Mjakes added that as a dance music lover, who also enjoys gospel, he wanted to compose something that would help bring the youth closer to God. Mjakes has over the years worked with artists like Kelly Khumalo, Robbie Malinga, Brown Dash and Mafikizolo.

“I’ve been in the music industry for almost 28 years. Started with Kwaito, working with S’Bu – Ama Lawyer and moved to Afro-pop and gospel. It’s always been important to me to learn and grow with the industry. They say adapt or die. I have always done my best to learn and adapt. Hence I want the same for Zahara. It’s very important to love what you do and do what you love.” (source: sowetanlive.co.za)

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