Moonchild Sanelly on her new BET presenting gig and music

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Musician Moonchild Sanelly talks about her new show on BET.
Musician Moonchild Sanelly talks about her new show on BET.

She's one of the most easily recognisable celebrities in SA. With her sparkly blue hair and even bigger personality, she's turned more than a few heads since she made her entry into the entertainment industry. 

She's featured in songs that became anthems, like Midnight Starring. She's worked with Beyoncé on the Lion King album. 

Moonchild Sanelly (33) has also raised a few eyebrows with her racy dance moves. 

But she doesn't really focus on what people say about her, she's all about making her money. 

We catch up with the artist just after the premiere of the new BET show, Madness Method. The first episode aired on 30 July. 

Moonchild says the biggest misconception about her is that she is stupid but that's far from the truth. Everything that's out there about herself is well thought out and curated. 

“I am very psychological,” she explains.

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“People think I do not have a brain, but I am very smart. I can write an entire album in a day because I am a thinker. People see me twerking and think that is all there is to me, but it isn’t. Even my music has strong messages; Makhelwane is about sexual harassment and Thunder Thighs is about self-love but it is just not sad and people get to dance and sing along.

“I am very self-aware and I do not need anyone’s approval about how I live my life. What I put on social media is what I want you to know about my life and nothing else. If you do not understand, it's ok, Beyoncé does.”

She says many people have self-esteem issues that do not allow them to have big dreams for themselves and then they get shocked and judgmental when someone else achieves those dreams.

“I sing overseas in IsiXhosa because I know exactly who I am and I am not trying to be anyone or anything else. My mother always encouraged me to dream bigger than where I am from.  That is why I know that I am going to win a Grammy one day.  It is going to happen.

“My mother taught me that there is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to be domesticated as a woman. As a result, I cannot even cook, I just make money and the money allows me to have the things I want.”

She's grown so popular that she has a growing international fanbase and she was featured in Beyoncé's song.

People often say Beyoncé was green-screened when they did the music video.

“I do not have time to correct people, babes. If you believe there is no way a girl from eBhayi (Gqeberha) can meet Beyoncé then ok, I keep moving and the zeros in my bank account move with me.”

She's started working on the new show, where she interviews celebrities. But not in a typical way, she says. 

She cannot divulge who the guests on Madness Method are going to be, because part of the set-up of the show is for people to guess the guests each week.

“I think this show is amazing and everything about my life has led me here. My experience being on the other side of an interview and knowing what irks me about the kind of questions people ask helps me with this show. There are times when I just smile politely in interviews knowing very well that I am annoyed that this person did not do their research and that a simple Google search would have done away with questions like where I am from. Everybody knows that it’s on Google.

“So, this show is unique in that I do not ask people things that are easily available on the internet. Like I’ll ask a guest when was the last time they had diarrhoea and how they got rid of that and then the conversation flows, while we drink together. It is really fun and feels natural.”

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She says being in sales before the fame also helped her.

“In sales, I had to read people quite a lot and I am finding that is helping me here too. Amazingly, my hustle before the fame is coming in so handy. I am also grateful to my guests who wholeheartedly agreed to be part of the show even though it is my first time presenting. I may be a loudmouth but when I need to learn something, I keep quiet and take it all in. For me, this is a big learning curve.”

Has she got any new music in the works? Moonchild will be releasing a single every second month until her album drops next year, she tells us proudly.

In October, she will be dropping a single called Soyenza, with Nigerian singer Yemi Alade.

“What I can say is that in December, South Africa will be drunk on me,” she laughs.

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