‘Living living’ singer launches career

2015-07-02 06:00
Photo: supplied
Africa Cele.

Photo: supplied Africa Cele.

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HER unique confidence radiates the room as she expresses her passion for African ubuntu, music and her love for a “living living” as she coins her zestful approach to life. “I call it a ‘living living’ because it is ongoing, it does not stop.”

The musician, who calls herself Afrika, was born Philile Cele in Ezingolweni, and grew up with parents Thandekile and Fana Cele and four siblings including a twin sister. They moved to Mthwalume where she spent most of her life.

“I did everything in Mthwalume. I went to school there. I lived there. It is where I call home. I love it because of the humble background and how laid-back it is, you can go outside and see the ocean, something I missed when I was there.”

She describes her father as being very strict and one that is to be thanked for instilling the discipline in her that has kept her grounded as she travelled the world.

After singing at school concerts and shows in the community from a young age, pursuing career in music after high school was not something she had a choice in she says. “I didn’t have a choice, but to do music - music was something that was within me and there was nothing that I could do about it - I had to do it.

She moved to Johannesburg in 2008 in pursuit of a professional career in music and scored a spot as Afro-pop singer Ntando Bangani’s backing vocalist. From there a number of doors opened and she began to spread her wings. Since then she has backed Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Siphokazi, Anton Goosen and has toured the world with Lucky Dube’s One People band.

Her album will feature a variety of sounds including old and the new. She calls this fusion funky soul. “I call my sound ‘funky soul’ because even though I’m a very soulful person I still incorporate a modern feel to it to cater to all audiences.”

Afrika’s focus is recording her debut album, A Way Back, on which she is working with Thuthukani Cele who has also produced for Thandiswa Mazwai. She is back home full-time because she wants to grow from her home town she says.

Fans can look out for her first single Take Me As I Am to be released in August and follow her updates on Facebook Afrika Philile Cele and twitter @AfrikaCele

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