Lungi Naidoo on her new EP and the lessons she's learnt in the industry

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After taking a break from music, Lungi Naidoo intends on making an epic come back
After taking a break from music, Lungi Naidoo intends on making an epic come back

She's all about resilience and perseverance. Singer and songwriter Lungi Naidoo (41) has been in the industry for more than two decades.

She has worked with some of the biggest artists in the industry, including renowned DJ Black Coffee on the hit single Falling. 

She started off as an independent artist and released her debut album followed by a second album, scoring herself a Metro FM award nomination in the best R&B album category.

The I Will hitmaker was then signed into a major record label but still, making it in the industry proved to be easier said than done. 

After her trials and tribulations, which involved bad publicity following a public break-up and some of her career goals failing, the songbird took a music hiatus but now she is ready to make an epic comeback as an independent artist again.

Read more | ‘It took me 20 years to make it in the music industry’ – Lungi Naidoo

Born and raised in KwaZulu-Natal in KwaDukuza, Lungi listened to music in the mornings while getting ready for school.

“That’s how I fell in love with music. Every day in the morning my family would turn on the radio, there was always music and every time I heard it, it comforted me and as I grew older it became part of me,” she tells Drum.

She loved it so much she made it a career. Her music doesn’t fit any mould, or one genre.

“I have always made music based on where I am at that time,” she says. Her new EP Courage is an amalgamation of different sounds. “You go from afro-beat to an afro-pop song.”

Her songs are based on her emotions, whether good or bad.

“Every time I wrote a song, I was feeling a different kind of way, I am in a space of my life where I have accepted that this is who I am, my music is based on where I am in my life.”

She has faced many challenges in life. In a Drum interview in 2018, Lungi spoke-out about her public break-up with then boyfriend, actor and singer Brian Temba, sharing that she took split the hard. “I didn’t eat and I took sleeping pills day and night” .

She lost herself for a while, she shared, and it took a huge effort to pick herself up and get back out there again, but with the help of her friends and support from family Lungi manged to bounce back.

Despite not having attained the fame she strived for, she has come to understand that despite the hurdles, music is something she wants to do for the rest of her life. 

“I have learned that I am not that artist that gets things easily, the music industry is hard, but it is beautiful but for as long as you stay true to your art and what matters to you as an artist,” she says.

“At some point I was sad, angry and disappointed in myself and wanted to quit,” Lungi says. She felt like this every time she tried something which then didn't work out. But messages from her fans who tell her how much her music means to them and how it uplifts them changed how she sees her gift of music.

“The whole idea of God giving you a talent is not for you, it’s for the people that receive it, and you are just a beacon of hope that God is using to reach other people,” she says.

“When I stopped making it about what I wanted and reflected on why am I am as an artist, why do I sing? I had to stop and realise I can’t please the industry or anyone. The lesson is to do the best I can, and it will reach the people that it needs to reach.” 

Read more | Open your legs or kiss your dreams goodbye

Lungi shares that her upcoming EP is a revival.

“In a quiet way I am celebrating my journey and thanking God for all I have received; I am allowing what’s for me and making peace with the path God has me on,” she tells us.

Having survived Covid-19 and witnessed her partner’s battle in ICU, who fortunately survived, Lungi now believes that time is not promised and she wants to do anything and everything.

“My hopes and goals for my EP is for it to be a success, for people to listen, get a good feeling from it and be happy in the space that we are in. Being independent again, I am doing anything and everything I want to do at anytime. I will be releasing music after music."

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