From a small town known as Harding in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, musician Aphendulwa Nyezi aims to empower and impress those listening to her music.
Nyezi’s love for music began at a very young age being influenced by her mother.
“My mother is a lover of music and I remember growing up she had bulks of cassettes of different artists and different genres; the likes of Lucky Dube, Soul Brothers, Rebecca Malope, Brandy, Witness of God, O’Jays, The Manhattans, Whitney Houston, Brenda Fassie, just to name a few.
“My love for music grew as I participated in Sunday school concerts and eventually joining the church choir and local community choirs where mostly choral music was being sung.
“My mother would take us to live shows and musical concerts as kids and that has played a pivotal role in my music journey, where later at university I joined an entertainment society by the name FOHAHEBE (Fort Hare At Her Best) and the university choir.
“That is where I got the opportunity to explore more genres like deep house, R&B and African choral music, which eventually sparked an interest in afro house music as I met some producers like Mey Scott and Nash La Musica who were also students at the University of Fort Hare,” she said.
When asked about what she enjoys most about what she does, the 29-year-old said she enjoys being creative in terms of how she is free to interpret and view things in her own way and translate it into music.
“Music which many people can relate to is mostly inspired by our day-to-day experiences. I enjoy the storytelling element of music and the ability of it to heal, bring joy, and empower people.
“I enjoy the process of creating nothing into something by expressing myself through music and mostly getting to travel and meet different individuals who help me grow musically,” she said.
Currently, Nyezi is pushing her new single titled ‘Ikusasa’ (loosely translated as ‘the future’).
She said she wrote this song from a place of attempting to empower people who have lost hope in their tomorrow.
“’Ikusasa’ is a call for action, that each and every one of us has a major role to play in this world. The song is a reminder that each day is a new day of new opportunities and that we need to make use of these second chances.
“We need not feel sorry for ourselves because everyone is trying their best to succeed. The first step is to wake up and show up.. because oversleeping and giving up will only cultivate poverty.
“The track emphasises how each individual needs to take it upon themselves to ensure that their future is secured and built on solid ground, by fighting for it regardless of the adversities encountered from day to day.
“A question is then posed on the track, If you do not want to do it.. then who will do it for you? Let us make the effort each day, with no one left behind,” said Nyezi.
What Nyezi learned early in her music career is the fact that “talent alone is not enough, you actually need to be very disciplined and focused as an artist”.
“The industry is packed with very talented people, but it is important to remain authentic and believe in yourself, and not try to be someone else or something that you are not. It is your creativity, resilience, and what you have to offer that will set you apart from the rest,” she added.
In her music journey, Nyezi has recently appeared on “Idols SA" season 19, winning a golden ticket on the show. Judges hailed her ability to hit different notes and her breathing technique.
“For the past two seasons, I have attempted to submit my video audition, with no success. I then gave it another shot for the farewell season, which is season 19 and it was a success.
I was then invited to come and audition for the judges where I bagged a golden ticket to theatre week, which is where I was eliminated from the competition.
One may say my “Idols SA” journey was short-lived, but during the period in which I was part of the program, I got to learn very critical and valuable lifetime lessons.
“This was a great opportunity for me to learn more about musical dynamics and performing etiquette,” she said.
Nyezi is looking forward to more collaborations with producers and artists across other genres and other countries. Her future plans also include creating a body of work, which could be in the form of an EP or an album.