Artists to look out for: Simphiwe Dana

2011-03-25 16:37

For anyone who doubts that Simphiwe Dana is the reigning queen of Afro-soul, must look at what the vocalist has achieved since the launch of her 2004 debut album, Zandisile. That CD not only went platinum, it won Dana the Best Newcomer and Best Jazz Vocal album prizes at that year’s South African Music Award (SAMA) ceremony. Her contemplative voice saw her walk away again with four SAMA awards for her 2006 The One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street. For the same album Dana won a BBC Radio 3 award for the Best Artist in the category World Music – Africa in 2008. The achievements are consistent with the singer’s approach to life. “Everything eventually works when you follow your life passion. It will be difficult at first but everything eventually pans out well”, says the singer who describes her music as a natural progression from gospel.

But it is not only awards that the Eastern Cape-born musician puts into her bag, over the last seven years Dana has built a huge fan base here and abroad. In 2005 which is the last time that the silky-voiced singer appeared at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, her show was rescheduled and moved to a bigger venue as more than the expected number of music lovers came to hear her. In terms of numbers that will want to see her at the festival this year, things are not going to be different from what happened in 2005. Dana comes to Africa’s Grandest Gathering with a new and stunning recording, Kulture Noir.

– ESP Afrika

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