When Lady Zamar first started singing, she was told that her voice sounded manipulated and fake.
Fast forward to two years later, and the house music sensation has scooped a few awards for her work, teamed up with a number of big names in the industry and released a solo album.
Zamar, whose real name is Yami Janet Banda, recently walked away with the Song of the year award at the DStv Mzansi Viewers Choice Awards for her hit track with deejay and producer, Prince Kaybee.
“I didn’t expect Charlotte to win the award so when it was announced I was shocked, I didn’t even have a speech. It was so exciting though because I feel like winning that award really puts a stamp on my vocal ability. What really makes it special is that the public got to vote for it”, she said.
On working with Prince Kaybee, she said, “We have a great working relationship, he is a great producer and has an amazing work ethic. It’s funny because neither of us thought that Charlotte would do as well as it has.”
She also said that Charlotte become such a success because of its relatability, “For me it’s very important to write from an honest place and Charlotte was about my own experiences in life and I think that at some point we have all had a Charlotte, someone that we thought was after our romantic partner or someone that our partner could have been after, so I think that is why people love it so much”.
Born in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni and raised in Pretoria West, Zamar shot to fame when she teamed up with Junior Taurus.
The duo put together an album, titled Cotton Candy which did relatively well. It was not until their hit single, Mamelodi, that she become a household name. However soon after its success, she announced that she would be going solo.
“Collaborations are great, they teach you a lot about yourself and your abilities, but they don’t give you the freedom I wanted. I wanted to be able to completely express myself in my music and you can’t do that as a duo or in a group. I am also a very independent person, I like working on my own so it was something that was going to happen at some point, I just thought that this year was the right time”, she said.
Soon after announcing her plans to focus on her solo career, Lady Zamar was in studio recording her debut solo album and in March this year she released King Zamar. “I had actually started writing music for my album before the announcement was made. I knew that I wanted my album to have various house sounds, from electro to indie and everything in between and I also wanted it to be a different sound to my previous work, so that was challenging,” she said.
In the past, Zamar has been accused of manipulating her voice, something she has denied. “This album was also me showing people that I actually can sing, I have never manipulated my voice and I never will, my talents are real. I also wanted to introduce myself to a new fan base”, she said.
During the interview she admits that she did not expect the album to be received so well by the public. “You know I think we all have certain doubts about ourselves, because this was my first solo project, I was extremely nervous. In fact at some point while putting this album together I wanted to quit. I am glad I did not. I also think that I needed my insecurities because looking back, I probably would not have put so much effort into this project if I was fully confident in it”.
Zamar confirmed that later this year, a deluxe version of her album will be released which will include new music. She has also started working on her new album and is going on a national tour next year.
“I am so excited and happy with where I am right now in my career, God has been so good to me. I mean I never for a minute thought that I would be where I am, I really doubted myself but now I am about to release a deluxe version of my album, I am working on a new album that I want to release in 2019 and next year I am going on a King Zamar tour which is a little daunting but so exciting as well”, she said.