Samantha Leonard, a singer with a nearly two-decade career in music, shares her passion for music while emphasising the importance of mentoring young and upcoming artists.
Speaking of her music journey, Leonard says her experience has been a roller coaster of emotions with many lessons to learn.
The music star also highlights the essence of being in tune with your mental health, something that she says many music artists do not often open up about.
“I cannot say that it has been an easy journey, and it's harder today at age 31, more so than ever. I find myself in a challenging time. And there is so much that I feel I still need to share with the world.
“It's been an absolute roller coaster of emotions; I think there's a lot that artists are not speaking about today. In terms of mental health, anxiety and the real stuff of the music industry. Behind the scenes, we always see the lights and the glamour of it. And I don't think many people are opening up about the future of our youth, and it's just something that I am passionate about and that I feel I need to share out there so that the younger artists do not go through the same,” she said.
When asked how she stays in tune with herself and her mental health, she says it is something that she works on every day.
“It's a matter of slowing down, taking a deep breath, gathering your thoughts on what you are doing, what you are chasing and how it is changing your character. I am more concerned about my character today and my reputation after the experiences that I have been through over the past 16 years. I realised the position it put me through in terms of my mental health, my anxiety and overall being and how your surroundings really form you as an artist and as a person. The wiser you become, the more you are exposed to it at the end of the day. And the more you get a grasp of what life is all about, you become the product and surroundings and environment.”
The “Net Een Keer” hitmaker is also set to headline the inaugural Rainbow Nation Fest which will feature live musical performances from an all-star line-up that includes DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small (Scorpion Kings), Kurt Darren, Master KG, Ricus Nel, Zola 7, Lwah Ndlunkulu, Dozi, DJ Zinhle and Mac G, amongst others. The event programme will be facilitated by T-bo Touch of Metro FM, Thandy Mamakhe of Ikwekwezi FM and Buhle S of Ligwalagwala FM.
Speaking about the event she said, “I am really excited about the Rainbow Nation Fest. This festival is really standing out for me and I am really looking forward to it because of the diversity and the message behind it. It’s about bringing South Africa together and celebrating different genres and cultures. At the end of the day, we are more that just music, we are supposed to be there for each other and share love and kindness and be in the moment.”