Celebrating Africa Day with Namibian born singer Taylor Jaye
This Africa Day, we celebrate the diversity and beauty of our continent with singer and songwriter Taylor Jaye, who is also known by her stage name, Jaleesa
Born and raised in Namibia, Jaye spent a large part of her childhood between Namibia and the US. She is now based in Joburg.
In a recent chat, the Afro-pop star spoke about her new amapiano single, celebrating her Africanness and releasing her most-anticipated debut album.
“Being an African, to me, means greatness. We are the sons and daughters of kings and queens, from which the whole world sprung out of. It means originality because everything about us, from our cultures to our music, is original,” Jaye said.
Being in lockdown, Jaye confirmed she will be celebrating Africa Day at home, and that she’s planning a special concert for her fans.
She added: “This year, I will be celebrating at home fully dressed in my Damara (Namibian) traditional attire, but will be streaming online with a few surprises for those that tune in.”
Jaye says growing up between Namibia and the US was “contrasting”. However, the different cultures played a major role in her musical journey.
“My movements between these cultures taught me tolerance, diversity, but also resilience. The different experiences opened my mind up to endless possibilities.
When I went to America for the first time, I wanted to be a rapper or be like Michael Jackson, and when I got to there, I instantly realised that the music industry is so huge and already established. Nonetheless, it taught me that the growing African music industry is where I wanted to be.”
She added: “There’s beauty in seeing it (African music) rise up in the past couple of years into world dominance. It’s a movement, and I’m so proud to be part of it.”
The star recently dropped a smashing amapiano track, titled "Mî Ba", featuring Mzansi’s own DJ K Smackz and Namibian rapper Chin Chilla. Jaye revealed the song is an ode to Otjomuise, a township in Namibia where she grew up.
“The song means: Tell my mom I’m a hood superhero. It’s my tribute to the hood (kasi) I grew up in. And me telling people that it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can be anything you want, kind of like a superhero. And as I say in the lyrics, when I go to my hood, I feel like a superhero because its the
birthing place of everything I’ve achieved in my life,” she explained.
Jaye will be releasing her debut album this year under her own label company, Jaye’s World Entertainment, and she cannot wait to share it with her fans.
“In the past, I’ve only released EPs in Namibia. But this year, the album is ready.
"It was supposed to drop during this lockdown period, but we have decided to push up the date and rather give the fans more singles and visuals since they are at home. The album is an exploration of Africa. I’ve worked with South Africans, Nigerians, Ghanaians, East Africans and Namibians on it. It’s a melting pot of different African sounds.”
She added: “I will be releasing the visuals of Mî Ba Superhero very soon. It’s not easy to create content during the lockdown, so look out for that on all my socials.”
Jaye recently collaborated with Nigerian superstar Patoranking and Chin Chilla, on the hit single, "Cashe".
This is a follow up to her hit single "Sugar Blesser” featuring South African singer and poet Busiswa.