It’s been almost 10 years since her last album release, and although getting back into the studio came with its challenges, Jerusha Naidoo is excited about her latest work. The South African Music Award nominated artist last released an album in 2009.
Known for hits like For Life, which was from her first album and featured Verd, Naidoo, who is a medical doctor, has just released her third studio album.
Titled Unstoppable, the singer and songwriter started working on the album two years ago during her first pregnancy. “I think that generally during your pregnancy you are very creative. Well, that’s how I felt.
"I started writing music with no real vision in place, but I was writing very romantic and beautiful music, and I think that is because that’s how your first pregnancy is. It’s a beautiful experience, and you are very happy about bringing life into the world, and I was inspired,” Naidoo said.
It was with her second pregnancy that the lyrics of the music she was writing took a different route.
“Listeners will note the difference in the music, some are very romantic, while others address some hard issues, and are not as beautiful in terms of the lyrics. And this is partly because I was writing the second half during my second pregnancy, and your second is not as beautiful as your first,” she said.
Naidoo said that Unstoppable will take listeners on a journey that includes ballads, a mix of sounds, but still staying true to her roots.
“I am the executive producer on this album, and I worked with people like Verd. I stay true to my R&B roots. I was schooled in the US, so I was very influenced by R&B,” she said.
She released the first single off the album, Blesser, late last year, a song she wrote about the culture of blessers in South Africa. “There are a lot of songs that celebrate the culture of blessers, where an older man gives a young lady, or man, gifts and money in exchange for their time and other things, I don’t celebrate that.
"This song is about empowering young people and educating them on making the right decisions, something that I think needs to be said,” Naidoo added.
Although this album is for everyone, Naidoo hopes it inspires young women and the LGBTQ community. “I am a woman, and I am always going to fight for our rights, I also have a lot of gay friends and South Africa is a very patriarchal society and women and the LGBTQ community are often given the under hand and taken advantage of, and I want to change that through my music. I have always been told that my songwriting is one of my biggest assets and I think that now is the time for people to hear it again,” she said.
After an almost 10-year break, Naidoo does admit that getting back into the studio was challenging. “This was not easy at all. Getting into studio and just building momentum to keep going and get into the swing of things again was the most difficult thing. I learnt a lot of humility with putting this album together and also to be open to new ideas and advice,” said Naidoo.
The mother, who works as a consultant for a pharmaceutical concern and specialises in vaccinations, said the album will be available online, with less focus on physical distribution.
“This is a very exciting time. Physical album copies are not the be all and end all of the industry anymore. Everything is available online, and right now that is my focus. The album will be available on iTunes, Apple Music and other such platforms,” she said.
She said fans would enjoy the growth of her sound. “My vocals have grown, it’s incredible actually because they are mature now, which is great.
“When I first started in the industry I was very worried about what people would say or what they might think of me, but not anymore.”
“I want people to be open-minded about this album and give it a try.”