Musical sensation Moonchild Sanelly believes her latest single, Bashiri, under the London-based Transgressive Records, will take her music to an international audience.
While the 32-year-old, whose real name is Sanelisiwe Twisha, told City Press this week that she was excited about Bashiri, the controversial song is sure to cause a stir. It tells the story of a cheating husband whose wife doesn’t give up on him, opting instead to take him to someone named pastor Bashiri to pray for him. The pastor promises that he can perform a miracle and make the husband faithful again.
“Bashiri is a song inspired by a woman’s testimony in church,” says Moonchild.
“Churchgoers are gullible. They pay for miracle oils, while the pastor makes a grand entrance at the church service in a helicopter. They worship and treat [the pastor] like God, despite him taking money from his congregation,” explains the outspoken artist.
“This song is from the perspective of a Bashiri follower whose husband is cheating on her. Instead of going for counselling she takes him to a church, which is ridiculous because infidelity is not solved through prayer and tithing.”
Moonchild says she expects recoil from the public and is ready for anything that will come her way.
“I am ready for backlash. People can relate to the name without me actual saying it. I am just a storyteller talking about a character. There is humour in everything, I am just being sarcastic... It was deliberate,” she laughs.
She states that the song is not offensive and that there is no pastor named Bashiri.
“I am talking about a character, so I am not expecting a legal suit,” she says.
Bashiri was recorded in August last year in Austria, and was released on Thursday.
“I had just finished performing in Vienna as a main act and we were just chilling and dancing; I was feeling weak and unwell and the Bashiri verse just came out of nowhere. That’s how the song was born.
“Working with talented musician and producer Aramboa, from Austria, has been amazing. He brought in some unique and electronic elements into my style of music and we merged the two worlds,” she says.
Last year Moonchild was the talk of the town after she took off her pants and showed off her booty on a live Instagram video.
“I am proud of my body. My bum is my confidence. I stand for everything about sexual liberation.”
Although she doesn’t go to church any more, the artist claims that she has had her fair share of experiencing fake pastors who use church for capital gain.
“I was once invited to church by my ex-boyfriend. I was told that I had demons which were not attracted to men. Really? Just because flaunt my booty when I perform, does that mean I have demons?” she asks.
Moonchild adds that the same pastor did not even have money for taxi fare and the congregation had to collect money for him.
“If you claim that God is using you, why do you fail to make money from your gift?” she asks.
The blue-haired artist has earned collaborations with DJ Maphorisa, Beyoncé, Die Antwoord, Gorillaz, Diplo and Wizkid.
She says the Transgressive Records deal came at the right time because she had been an independent artist for quite some time.
“I have been offered record deals before and I would turn them down because I was being compromised in South Africa. But I realised that Transgressive was following my music and understood my vision and what I want to achieve as an artist,” she says, adding that she was excited that Gallo Record would be working with her in promoting Bashiri on the continent.
Transgressive Records said it was excited about welcoming Moonchild into its stable.
“Uncompromising, ground-breaking and immediately distinctive ... as soon as you’ve encountered Moonchild, you won’t forget her. She is one of the most intoxicating voices, writers, performers and spokespersons we’ve ever had the pleasure of welcoming into the Transgressive family. It’s going to be a trip,” said the record label in a statement.
Moonchild believes that many are going to relate to Bashiri.
“People must learn to stop blaming religion and take responsibility for their own lives. It’s also important that they change the narrative. The power is in your hands.”