“You’re as good as your last performance”- Simphiwe Dana

Simphiwe Dana
Simphiwe Dana

What can people expect from the ‘Church of Dana’?

It’s a revival of some sorts; it’s almost like old friends meeting again. I have faces in the audience now that have become familiar to me and I love that about performing.

How are you feeling after vocal surgery?

I’ve completely healed, but this will be my first show since I had the surgery so I’m a bit nervous. I still have fears, because it was a big surgery on my vocal cords, and my voice is my livelihood.

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How do you deal with nerves before getting on the stage?

As a seasoned performer, I’ve come to understand that energy plays a huge role in performance. Sometimes a performance is flat, not because the performer’s underprepared, but because the energy between the performer and the audience is off. And this is something that’s usually out of the performer’s hands. I’m always most nervous about these minutes before I go on stage, so I try to be present in the moment and immediately switch off when I exit that environment. Also, being nervous is good; it’s the adrenalin rush that fuels my stage energy.

This year marks 15 years since your debut album. What comes to mind when you reflect on how far you’ve come?

It’s been an interesting journey with challenges and successes. I’ve learnt so much about the industry and have grown in leaps and bounds as an artist. I’ve discovered so much of myself through the experiences I’ve gone through. In as much as there’ve been some challenges; I’ve also greatly enjoyed the victory moments. It’s almost five years since I last recorded an album, and this is the longest I’ve stayed without releasing one. I believe that you’re as good as your last performance.

Catch Simphiwe Dana Annual Congregation live at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City on 2 March 2019.