City’s Idol ready with first album

2016-12-19 12:45
Noma Khumalo with her debut album, Joy, which is currently on sale at music outlets.

Noma Khumalo with her debut album, Joy, which is currently on sale at music outlets. (Kavitha Pillay)

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Pietermaritzburg's songbird Noma Khumalo sometimes has to remind herself she has become the star she is.

The 22-year-old, who shot to fame in the recent season of Idols SA, said while people are recognising her in public a lot more, she’s almost “back to normal” after the whirlwind media frenzy and recording studio work that came with the prestigious title. “I’ve mostly been working in Johannesburg, recording my album, working on a Christmas special coming soon on television and doing performance after performance,” said Khumalo, who was relaxing at home with her family on Sunday.

This is the second time she’s been home since her win. Her previous visit was to the school she taught at, Maritzburg Christian School, for a year-end party with her pupils. She said her schedule is so tight that she had to convince her manager to permit the visit.

Just three weeks after grabbing the Idols SA title, Khumalo’s debut album, Joy, is on sale at music outlets and available for purchase online. “Some places in Johannesburg have already sold out. I’m hoping Pietermaritzburg and KZN follow the same trend,” she told The Witness at her home on Sunday.

When asked why she named the album Joy, she said: “Joy speaks of my experience, the feelings I’m left with after Idols … A celebration of Idols and my supporters — because this is not just my victory, it’s everyone’s,” said Khumalo.

The 10-track album includes a song with Durban talents Sketchy Bongo and Kyle Deutsch, which Khumalo said was a “learning curve” for her on how to write music. “I couldn’t believe that the Sketchy Bongo wanted to work with me! I was overwhelmed, and Rob [Cowling — her manager with Gallo Music Records] — made it happen.”

When asked how she feels about the amount of travelling that came with her new career, she said: “Flying is not for me … but Rob taught me tricks on how to cope.”

And as for being stopped by fans in public, she said: “There are usually swarms of people who want ‘selfies’, which I usually let them take, but sometimes it ends up making me late for gigs or meetings.”

While Khumalo has been dealing with being in the limelight in Jozi, her parents had a fair amount of fame to deal with back home. “We have been flooded with messages from people who knew us and congratulated us on our daughter’s achievement. It’s been a wonderful experience — something we did not expect. Noma has become famous and in a sense it made us famous too,” her father, Muntu Khumalo, told The Witness.

Her brother, Bongumenzi Khumalo, who attends the school she taught at, said: “I’m so happy for her. Everyone at school is happy and excited.”

Khumalo said Idols was not on her bucket-list this year, but her pupils encouraged her to go for it after they discussed achieving their dreams. “I’m so grateful to have the chance to be a role model, to encourage my students to reach for the stars and convince them that they can do anything they want to achieve,” she said.

Khumalo said she doesn’t know when she will perform again in Pietermaritzburg, but hopes to perform with her band, Acoustiq Assassins, at the Hexagon Theatre in 2017.

“While I’m finding my feet everything else is taking a break,” she added.

On Thursday, uMgungundlovu and Msunduzi municipalities have arranged a homecoming for Khumalo, which starts in Pelham at noon. A mini concert will be held at Freedom Square at 1.30 pm.

Read more on:    idols sa  |  pietermaritzburg  |  noma khumalo

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