Her life is full. She's in touch with her spiritual self and her album is ready for release.
With her music, she celebrates the power of water and women doing great things.
Rapper Gigi Lamayane (27), real name Genesis Gabriella Tina Manney, is releasing her 19-track album Mermaids and Stuff on Friday, 15 July.
Her lead single Feelin' U featuring MiCasa and Blxckie, is already climbing the charts and the rest of her album is expected to do the same.
Her star-studded album is about promoting hip hop for females in the South African industry.
She has collaborated with some of the biggest names including Nadia Nakai, Sho Madjozi and Moozlie, Tanzanian rapper Rosa Ree and Pillboyy.
“The main idea behind Mermaids and Stuff is to empower and raise female queens to cement their place in the hip-hop industry,” Gigi says.
She's also got features with singers Phelo Bala, Just Bheki, Aubrey Qwane, Kabomo, lyricist MC Blaklez, and hip-hop star 25k.
“I have always wanted to work with Sho Modjozi, Nadia Nakai, and Moozlie. We have been together in the industry for many years, so it made sense to put them as part of my journey. I needed to feature more women than men and empower each other as they are powerful women with powerful stories to tell,” Gigi says.
The motivation behind the name was her story of finding herself. “I have been through a lot in my personal life, and I wanted to tell the story about my journey,” Gigi says.
“There were times when I was in love and I fell out of love then back in love. I felt hopeless I went through the emotions and I feel powerful now. The black independent girl growing up in Africa and having a dream to chase.”
Gigi recently underwent a spiritual journey and learned about the importance of water as an element in cleansing physically and spiritually.
“With me having recently gone on a spiritual journey; the common element with my journey and the project is water,” Gigi says.
“The ideal way we want to be as human beings is still like water but sometimes, we are faced with tides, the crushing of waves, and the flooding in our minds. Mermaids are mythical creatures that can survive tides. The message I am sending across is we should be like mermaids and be one with water. Even with the tides and hardships, we need to be one with the water like mermaids. I wanted to resonate with mermaids. I came from a lot of adversities but I’m still standing,” she says.
Gigi learned about her calling when she was a child.
“My spiritual calling was discovered when I was 11 years old, but no one was sure about what to do with it. It was discovered again about two years ago when there were a lot of things happening in my life,” Gigi tells Drum.
“A lot of strange physiological and spiritual things started happening and I started seeing. It was revealed to me that this gift has been in my family for generations. So, last year I went and passed for my calling, outside of Johannesburg, in a very remote area somewhere and came back feeling better than I have ever felt,” she says.
“It’s crazy how spirituality can heal us."
Gigi says her life before the calling was very empty.
“I always felt there was a sense of purpose that I was not exploring. I needed to know that side of me. It felt like there was something I was supposed to be doing but wasn’t doing.
“Before I lived a very purposeless life and my after is I help people. I help people fix their adversities and it feels absolutely amazing.”