Thab­sie ready to fly as solo artist

The Sunday Independent - - FRONT PAGE - AMANDA MALIBA

AF­TER mak­ing her mark with the sin­gle Ngiyaz’fela Ngawe on which she fea­tured, Thab­sie is ready to re­vive the R&B genre and make her­self known with her up­com­ing al­bum.

The artist, real name Bathabise Biyela, said she is ready to launch a ca­reer that in­tro­duces her as an artist to the pub­lic.

“It has been a great year of in­tro­duc­tion for me,” said Thab­sie. “It is my sixth month in the game and peo­ple are al­ready fa­mil­iar with who I am. It is re­ally ex­cit­ing that this is only the be­gin­ning for me.”

But play­ing in a genre that is not so pop­u­lar in South Africa is a chal­lenge.

“R&B is a very tough genre to crack and I don’t think any­one has done so in a while. I think the last per­son who re­ally made a mark was the late Tsakani ‘TK’ Mhinga.”

The singer, who hails from Cape Town, says she does un­der­stand why this is so.

“Many R&B artists in (our coun­try) mask them­selves be­hind other gen­res, even though they have R&B de­liv­er­ies in their mu­sic.”

Among these artists, she lists Amanda Black, who sings to Afro-pop beats, and house singer Bu­cie as hav­ing an R&B sound.

“Artist don’t go typ­i­cally R&B be­cause it’s not re­ceived well in this coun­try. So that is why I have in­tro­duced new school R&B with a lot of hip-hop beats and chang­ing it up with Afro beats but it still re­mains true to the core genre,” she said.

The re­leased singer her sec­ond sin­gle this past Fri­day, ti­tled African Queen and fea­tur­ing rap­per JR. She says it car­ries a con­ti­nen­tal sound. Her an­tic­i­pated al­bum, ti­tled Songs About You, is com­plete and will be re­leased on Septem­ber 15. “Ev­ery song is about some­one. So it’s a col­lec­tion of per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences that I’ve drawn from and I ex­pose a lot of emo­tional things, like heart­break.” She also fea­tures other artists such as Kid X and Sipho ‘Psyfo’ Ng­wenya, and has an­other song with the award-win­ning Kwesta. The 10-track al­bum took three years to com­plete, and it’s been a long time com­ing, con­sid­er­ing how she just blew up ac­ci­den­tally. “When I quit my pre­vi­ous job, I didn’t quite struc­ture it or plan it to a tee. I was just frus­trated in the job but was pas­sion­ate about mu­sic. Ev­ery­thing that is hap­pen­ing now is re­ally faith and God.” Sh e ex­pects that her new al­bum will help prove that there is more to her, be­yond the song she is known for. “No one re­ally as­so­ciates me with be­ing an artist on my own with­out at­tach­ment to that col­lab­o­ra­tion. “So this will be my very own work and so­lid­ify my en­try into the in­dus­try and show what I can do by my­self. “What I love about this al­bum is that ev­ery­one can re­late to it. I think peo­ple will ab­so­lutely love it.”

GO­ING PLACES: Thab­sie is de­ter­mined to make her mark in the mu­sic in­dus­try.

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