“Music is my life and spending time with people who love it as much as I do is so good for my soul,” says singer PJ Powers.
PJ Powers, together with Berita are the ambassadors for Moshito 2019. Themed "Inzalabantu - Unchained", the festival shines a spotlight on women of the continent.
PJ Powers, a music pioneer, spoke about her role in the festival, the challenges women faced in the industry and the release of new music.
Tell us about your role as an ambassador for Moshito 2019 and what it means to you?
Moshito is the biggest music festival in Africa and, as such, it’s a huge honour to be an official ambassador for it. To be working alongside someone as talented and wonderful as Berita, makes it even more special.
This year’s theme, "Inzalabantu - Unchained", is particularly close to my heart as I believe that we need to ensure that women everywhere have a seat at the table and as women, we need to support and encourage each other. It also gives me the opportunity to honour the pioneering women that have come before me.
What are your thoughts on Moshito 2019 as it explores the aspirations, challenges, and triumphs of women in music?
I got into this business very young – I was 18. I have seen first-hand how male-dominated this business can be and how many brilliantly talented women are often sidelined. I’m thrilled to see that more and more women are finding their voices and the tide is changing.
This is where a platform like Moshito makes a difference.
What are some of the challenges female artists are still experiencing?
I think society still judges women more superficially and harshly than men - very few male performers are expected to be a certain size or look a certain way. I think it’s different for a lot of women and that is why when Adele says: “Stop worrying about what I weigh and concentrate on my voice and talent”, it sends an empowering message to many women.
What are some of your career highlights?
There are a number of wonderful high profile events and highlights I’ve been blessed to experience in my career, but I can honestly say that when someone comes up to me after a show and says, “You are speaking to me with that song” or “that gave me goosebumps and brought me to tears” or “I play your music whenever I want to feel happy”, that is gold to me.
What are you looking forward to most at Moshito 2019?
The BET concert on the 5th that I’m performing at. It is going to be brilliant! I am performing with all-female group Her Artistry, and they are fantastic. I’m also looking forward to a lot of the panel discussions - the business is changing all the time and it’s great to hear everyone’s input.
What should fans/ concert-goers expect from the three-day musical extravaganza?
A jam-packed celebration of music in all its forms while drawing inspiration for music everywhere. We are lucky to live on this continent and be exposed to so many different influences and styles. You will go away hugely inspired, I promise you.
You have collaborated with the likes of HHP, Sfiso Ncwane, Mdu Masilela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka. How do these collabs come about and can we expect more in future?
Collaborating with other musicians stretches me as a musician and it takes me out of my comfort zone, which I believe is the only way to grow as an artist. I will definitely be doing more collaborations. In fact, there is one waiting to be launched, and we have just finished the music video.
Are you working on new music or projects, perhaps an album?
I am busy with an EP, which I’m hoping will be ready in the next few months. But this year has been such a busy, crazy year, with quite a bit of travelling, that finding extended time to get into the studio in amongst everything else is quite a challenge.
The three-day music events, including two concerts and the Street Festival, will ensure delegates take in the sounds of the world. The Festival starts on Thursday, September 5.