By the time she was in high school, she knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life – make music. Shado M, real name Nomshado Mthombeni (26), joined choirs at school and at church to help train her voice. Today her single, Nhliziyo Yami Ithi Hey, has the young and old singing along to the beat.
A YOUNG ZULU LADY
Shado M grew up in Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal with her mother and two elder brothers. Her father passed away when she was a little girl and she has no real memories of him.
But her childhood was mostly a happy one. “I grew up in a home full of love and warmth, laughter was always the order of the day,” she says. It wasn’t always easy financially, however, as her mother was the sole breadwinner and responsible for everything they needed.
“My mother was a store manager for a clothing retailer and did everything in her power to make sure we had everything we needed. She did a very good job.”
MUSIC TO MY EARS
When she felt like she was ready to get into the music industry, Shado M started sourcing beats from local producers across KwaZulu-Natal. That was two years ago and she’s been working on building her brand since then.
It was also around this time that she realised she had a great passion for writing her own music. “Realising that I had a strong interest in music, one of my friends from church introduced me to a local DJ – DJ Ask – who could help me in the pursuit of my career in music,” she says.
“He gave me a few beats and asked me to write the music myself. I was worried because I didn’t think I would be able to write a song because I had never done it before. I went home, put some words together and I had a song, even though I struggled at first.
We worked on the song the next day and just like that I had written my first song.” About a year later the star recorded her single, Inhliziyo Yami Ithi Hey, which went viral online. The song also dominated local radio playlists and it even made Metro FM’s Top 40 Chart Show.
The star says she never thought her single would get so popular. “I believe in my talent but did not think the single would be so big. I am overwhelmed by the response I received. This for me is a motivation to work hard and continue on the same energy because it has proven to work,” she says.
THE TRICKY INDUSTRY
It hasn’t been easy trying to make it in the fickle music industry and one of the challenges she had to deal with was learning not to rely on people. She tells Move! there have been several occasions where she was meant to collaborate with an artist and they just never came through.
“It is a problem because many of them do not want to help out, which may lead to you feeling stuck. But I’ve learnt to rely on my talent and realised that I don’t really need anyone to succeed,” she says.
She’d love to work with some of the more established South African artists, she says. “I’d like to collaborate with hip hop star Nasty C and Durban stars such as Busiswa, Babes Wodumo and Professor.”