Simphiwe Dana back with latest single Uzokhala
But, it seems, it was worth the wait as her latest single, Uzokhala, from her upcoming album Bamako, is set to take over the airwaves.
With this album, Dana is making sure her name is stamped on all her music.
“I have produced before with my music, I just didn’t credit myself. Inkwenkwezi, Mayine... quite a few songs I have done but did not credit myself. For the first time I am taking credit for my work and I have done a much more extensive job of producing, instrumentally, on this album.”
Bamako will be her fifth album and the feel is West African.
“I specifically worked with Malian musicians, hence the album title Bamako. I wanted to merge two cultures and Malian music is one of my favourites because of their musical culture. They have a beautiful and sophisticated music culture.”
Uzokhala, the second release from her upcoming album, is a tongue-in-cheek number. The first release was Usikhonzile.
“Basically Uzokhala is telling people not to mess with me. I like to leave interpretation of my music to the listeners. Once it leaves my hands it no longer belongs to me and people interpret the music based on their own experiences, and that’s how they get to own the song.”
As an artist, social gatherings are important for Dana to spread her music. The outbreak of coronavirus in the country has resulted in a ban on large gatherings.
“I am not coping. I think this is going to hit us hardest as artists. We need gatherings to perform. I like the digital performances that are happening, and they are innovative. Even for the future, you can still make money like that.
“But for artists like me, it still requires that I gather a few other people for the music to be heard. I am looking into the digital space, but it is challenging.”
Dana said that if she could make a suggestion to the government, it would be to suspend bills.
“If all we had to worry about was food, that would be amazing. This has been done in other countries because people can’t work.”
She said she hoped the government could fast-track the elimination of the virus before it became uncontrollable.
“It is very depressing, me having to move my album back is going to hit my pocket.
“So it is a stressful time.
“The two singles are available for now. I think going the route of releasing digitally will help, but that will still require me to go to spaces and market the music.”