Moonchild Sanelly on working on new music, raising daughters and venturing into the alcohol business

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Musician Monnchild Sanelly spoke to us about her new music, an upcoming world tour and being an international star.
Musician Monnchild Sanelly spoke to us about her new music, an upcoming world tour and being an international star.

As she walks into the little coffee shop in Cape Town, all eyes instantly turn towards her.

With her deep blue wool hair and light purple body-hugging two-piece outfit, she looks like she's stepped right off the cover of a magazine – she is hard to miss.

Moonchild Sanelly – real name Sanelisiwe Twisha (33) – greets me like an old friend with an enthusiastic “Hey” as she sits down for our first in-person interview since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Her energy is contagious as she gets straight to talking about her latest single Covivi, which will be dropping on 22 October.

“I write songs on the spot because I can tell a story about anything,” she says.

“When I make music, I often want people to laugh at their problems while on the dance floor. I love the fact that I have no limit to the music that I make. I wrote Covivi to basically say that it should disappear because we tired of being home and asikwazu jola (we can’t date anymore) and people want to be happy."

She is known for being outspoken, charismatic and being a ball of fire on stage. Her fans, whom she calls ‘boobeams’, love her for her honesty and vibrant energy.  

She recently released two singles titled ‘Demon’ and ‘Undumpable’ that have been trending and making airwaves across South African radio stations.

Since showing up in the industry, she's been her authentic self and opened doors for artists to be themselves unapologetically. She stands for body positivity and the sexual empowerment of women, and she recognises that the things that she was once criticised for are the very things that have made her who she is today.

She credits her confidence to the way that she was raised by her mom who always encouraged her to embrace her body.

“My mother has always told me to own my body and that’s where my freedom comes from. Even though I was sexually abused growing up, right now I am the person I needed as a kid. Because when I wasn’t feeling safe at home, I wished that there was a song that spoke to me to tell me that I am perfect and that my body belongs to me.”

Read more | Moonchild Sanelly on being featured on the FIFA 22 soundtrack – 'I keep pinching myself'

“I have been rejected for making women appreciate their bodies, but I have also seen that people have taken my words and used them to empower themselves. I see people having wool hair, I see my image and how people are influenced by me.”

The lyrics to her songs are often controversial whether she is speaking about her body or sexuality.

Her song Makhelwane was a popular radio hit as it speaks about the sexual harassment that women endure everyday from men. It is catchy but it also has a powerful message behind and it’s not by accident.

She dropped her E.P, Nudes last year and she says that the reception it received from her audience has been nothing short of amazing.

“After I dropped my E.P I received over 15.2 million streams on Spotify and although I may have received much attention here at home, British Vogue and Fade were writing about my success.”

Moonchild shares that since her contribution to Beyonce’s Lion King album, people think that they cannot afford her. She says that there have also been people who have tried to discredit her creatively.

“People have asked me if Power was shot via green screen and that’s sad because people don’t see people like themselves achieve big dreams. There is a huge part of me that people will never take seriously, and I know that I am living my dreams.”

She is currently engaged to her long-time girlfriend, and she shared her proposal on her reality show on MTV Base Africa, she says they are taking their time.

“I am engaged to my best friend, and we are in no rush to tie the knot. We are just living our lives and we will get married when the time is right. Nothing changes when you are engaged.”

She is a mother to three daughters between the ages of 8-14 and she says that each one of them represent a part of her. She loves raising independent and confident children that speak their mind.

“My eldest daughter is a teenager, and she speaks her mind, and she will always question the things she is told by her grandmothers. She is very open to me about all things and the twins are both parts of me, it’s funny to watch the power dynamics between them.”

Moonchild will be starting her world tour next year and will share the dates to her tour soon. She is also working on her first album that she will be releasing early next year. 

She says that she will also be releasing her own alcohol brand soon that people are going to love.

“My world tour is going to be amazing, and I can’t wait to drop my album. I am also excited to for my next business venture that will see people spending their money on my bottles and my music. The flavour is amazing and there are some projects I can’t say yet.”

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