Rising star | Getting to know Durban singer Azana

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Musician Azana spoke to Drum about her music journey and the making of her debut album.
Musician Azana spoke to Drum about her music journey and the making of her debut album.

She's quickly making a name for herself in the music industry.

Young, with a strong voice and a dream, Durban-born Afro-pop songstress and songwriter Azana is already topping charts with her debut single, You Love.

Azana, real name Makhosazana Masango, tells us a bit about herself. 

“My songs are very sweet and warm. They are very me," says the singer.

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The 20-year old tells Drum that her life has always revolved around music.

“I grew up singing,” says the soft-spoken singer.

Azana says from a very young age, her mom could tell that one day she will be a famous singer.

In July, Azana released her debut album ‘Ingoma’, a 14- track CD with different sounds including soul, pop, and house music. 

Her debut album secured the number 1 spot in the country on Apple Music’s pop chart. She collaborated with well-established artists such as Afriikan Papi, Disciples of House, and Sun EL Musician.

Drum caught up with the rising star to hear more about her music journey and inspirations.

Who are you?

I was born and bred in Chesterville, Durban. I am the only girl, amongst two boys, am the last born and my parents gave me the name Makhosazana which means Princess.

Growing up with boys was so much fun. But at the same time, I feel like if I had a sister, there were certain things I would have been able to share with her, that I wasn’t able to share with my brothers.

See her post here:

As a child, I was very shy but I loved to sing and dance in my room when no one was watching.

I started singing at a very young age and eventually, I was performing for crowds. And that is when I decided to make my name different and shorter for the stage.

I then cut Makhosazana for Azana.

Where does your love for music come from?

For as long as I can remember, I was that child who sang everywhere. I sang at school and I sang at church. 

Esontweni [At church, I held a leadership position in the choir]. My mom uses to tell me that I will grow up to be a singer.

She always told me I’d be a musician but she was scared and didn’t entertain it because she always knew how hard the entertainment industry is.

Which recording label are you currently signed with?

I am currently signed with DeejayMondy SA under Big City Dreams Records. He is Sun EL Musician’s brother. 

I was introduced to Mondy by Sanele.

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What inspired your hit single ‘Your Love’? 

The song is about a long-distance relationship. It talks about when you are in a long-distance relationship with someone, but you can't wait to see them, yet at the same time, you are also reassuring that person that you still love them and want to spend the rest of your life with them.

It’s a very sweet and warm song.

It was based on personal experience.

Who is the lucky guy?

He is out there.

Can you please explain what inspired some of the songs in the album?

My album for me is my lyrics.

I always talk about the things that I see around me and my experiences.

Okhokho - My first song talks about my ancestors. Which is like a blessing and asking good luck as I embark on this music journey.

Askies (I’m sorry) - This is a cute song and it's funny. Ithi awuyek’ ukungifinela [Stop calling me]. And it’s the things that we grew up saying as girls. So, it's things that I can relate to and I know a lot of people can relate to as well.

Sikelela- This song is about giving praise and the interesting part about it is that people can take it in whichever way they want to. Whoever you praise that is the song because it doesn’t mention anyone.

Egoli- Which comes from a conversation I had with my brother the day I went to Joburg. And he was like he wants to come to Joburg as well and look for a job that side. 

So, that was what he said to me, and I wrote that down in my book, when I got to the studio I then created a song from the things that ubhut’ wam ubezisho [what my brother said].

See her post here:

Is it important for your fans to relate to your music?

When I write my music, I don’t think about that. 

When I write I am writing from what I feel and when people relate to it, that is a bonus. But I am not just making music for myself, it’s for everyone. 

But the interesting part is, whatever it is that I write, people will relate to it because we are all humans at the end of the day. However, that is not my thought process, ukuthi [that] I think whether they will relate or not.

How do you feel about the reception of your album?

It has been lovely.

I am getting a lot of different audiences, because there is a song for everyone, and that is a very interesting thing to see and watch. 

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So far, how has fame been like?

It has been beautiful and just seeing how people have been so receptive.

However, my life hasn’t changed much since I became well known. I still hang out with the same people. 

Everything is still normal. I am very shy, so I don’t think I will ever get used to so many people knowing me.

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