Nqobile Sibeko has shot straight to the frontlines from being a background singer to pushing her solo career. You might know her from Joyous Celebration or backing various South African musicians, but at the height of her solo career, this month she will be showcasing her musical work in Scotland. The singer and songwriter is flying the South African flag high this #WomensMonth at the Edinburgh International Festival.
The annual month-long festival dates back to around the ‘50s and has been a platform that opens doors to a wide variety of artists from around the world.
Our local star explains that her involvement with the festival is an opportunity to tell the South African narrative while also celebrating Nelson Mandela’s centenary year.
“For the fact that I'll be raising the SA flag on international stages and will be standing for women of our country, it is an honour for me. I feel like now is my chance to turn the whole world’s attention to my country,” she said.
“There are some who have done it before and there will be some to do it after me, but right now is my chance to stand on international stages and speak my about story.”
In Sibeko’s journey of building her career as a soloist, she released her first gospel album in 2015, Isiphephelo (Hiding Place), a project she is still marketing and wants people to be familiar with before ushering in her second offering.
“I am constantly writing music. I think my second album has enough content on it already and I may have, without noticing it, be writing music for my third album as we speak. But I feel I still need to market my first album so that when I release the second one, people should already know about me and what my signature is,” she said.
“Rushing into a second album without being sure of what the title and face of it is, will be premature,” Sibeko adds.
Speaking about her decision to take the lead position of her career was all about the need to give people more of her talent.
“It is important to start somewhere, I therefore see the importance of being a background singer; to learn more about the ways of the industry before venturing into it as a soloist. So I believe that the background work that I participated in aided in my journey to be where I am and directs to where I am going.”
Sibeko performed her first show on Tuesday and will continue every evening until the 25th August.