Were you prepared for the stardom that came with entering Idols?
No. I think I wasn’t prepared at the time for it at all. I think, like most rookies like me, when you enter you think everything is going to unfold slowly. After Idols I was actually confused and it was scary time. I moved to Joburg to try be in the industry like I had on Idols but it’s wasn’t the same thing. Then I realised I didn’t know what I was doing and that’s when I started to craft my own music.
How did going to school shape your career?
I decided to go to AFDA and study music, which just prepared me for the industry. What AFDA does is it mimics the industry; it makes you work in a group – so you’ll have an editor, a stylist and a producer. In my subject of live performance, it consisted of music business so that really also helped. Without school I would have been a disaster; it made me to know what is substandard and what’s great.
How do you deal with the pressure of the music industry?
The beauty of going to school made me know I can do me, unapologetically. I don’t have to be like AKA, Cassper or Sho Madjozi – we can all have the same career and be different.
Why did you decide to sign with Sony?
It took a lot for me to sign with a record label. Sony helps me with distribute my music, but I’m still on my own, doing my own thing. All my songs are made in my house, I own every track and I pay for all the production. I feel like I have a product that is destined for greater things. But, Sony and I complement each other.
How did you find your own sound?
It was easy because after Idols we got to choose an instrument and I chose a keyboard. So since then, I’ve been writing but I suck at playing it. From there on it was just organic trying to be me from the start and I’ve evolved from that. My sound at the moment is a combination of pop and R&B and soul. I call it ‘R&B Pop Soul’.
What inspires your music?
I’m inspired by the beat. But before it used to anything around me and then I’d jot it down. I’m really inspired by people and experiences around me, it’s never the same process.
How did the collaborations with Sketchy Bongo and Black Coffee come about?
I was in studio with Kyle and met Sketchy Bongo there. He played beats and we chose the Back to the Beach sample and that’s how the song was born. There after he said we should do it again and I came back to studio. We did Let You Know. I sent Black Coffee what I had worked on and he liked Your Eyes and he helped me make the chorus and the verse; he just helped make it a masterpiece. He is such a creative person.
Who are your musical inspirations?
Locally I really look up to AKA and Cassper because of how they have turned music into a business and the way they push their careers. But otherwise I love Lauryn Hill, Macy Gray, Beyoncé, Madonna, and Avril Lavigne.
How would describe your fashion style?
My style is very grunge. I love torn stockings and whimsical headpieces and flowy dresses. I love what looks good on my body. love fashion so much it inspired me to write Suited – it’s about how we are suited for anything and everything. It’s about finding something that’s particularly yours.
Are there any rituals you do before going on stage?
I pray a lot so I can find calm because I’m usually nervous and anxious. I know there’ll come a point when I’m less nervous but I expect so much from myself.