Local vocalist influenced by Mama Africa

2018-06-12 06:01
Vocalist Thulile Zama.PHOTO: supplied

Vocalist Thulile Zama.PHOTO: supplied

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LOCAL songstress Thulile Zama, who recently held an event called A Tribute to Mama Africa, said the late Miriam Makeba’s career so influenced her and her band members that they found it fitting to do a tribute in honour of Mama Africa. Zama chatted to Fever reporter Nosipho Mkhize about her work.

NM [Nosipho Mkhize]: Tell me a bit about yourself.

TZ [Thulile Zama]: I am a bubbly person, I love music and people. I love Durban.

NM: Please take me through your childhood memories.

TZ: I grew up surrounded by beautiful music. My parents had great taste in music. My sister and I were the only grandchildren for a long time so we were spoilt by our grandparents and surrounded by love from aunts and uncles.

NM: When did you get into music?

TZ: I honestly don’t remember a time I was not into music. At school I was always in the choir, and always forcing my friends to harmonise with me. I knew without a doubt that a degree in music is what I wanted to pursue after school.

NM: What type of music do you prefer?

TZ: I studied jazz. I would call my original music contemporary jazz as I am influenced by different genres.

NM: Please tell us a bit about the event A Tribute to Mama Africa.

TZ: A Tribute to Mama Africa was a celebration of the music of the late great Miriam Makeba. At this past event I shared the stage with Rebekah Doty on drums, David Smith on piano, and Sbusiso Mkhonza on bass as well the Ulozolo dancers.

NM: Which artists have you worked with?

TZ: I am a part of a band called Heels Over Head as well as the Tribute to Mama Africa project and Fanatics Trio. Heels Over Head has shared the stage with numerous artists such as Ringo Madlingozi, the late Busi Mhlongo, Jill Scott, and John Legend just to name a few.

NM: What are some of the challenges you have faced in the music industry?

TZ: Lack of airplay for South African artists. We are so rich in talent,yet radio stations only have a few artists on rotations. It is not easy, especially for independently recorded artists.

NM: What has contributed to your success in the music industry?

TZ: A lot of hard work and blessings. A lot of travelling and doing what one loves. I still look forward to tons more!

NM: Do you have any upcoming events?

TZ: Yes! On June 17 Heels Over Head will be at Jay Bees Jazz Cafe at 9 Bentley Street, Berea.

NM: Any advice you can give to the youth of SA?

TZ: They must take care of themselves and live their lives responsibly. They must follow their passion and apply themselves at school for a brighter future.

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