Five min­utes with... Shekhi­nah

Woolworths TASTE - - My Favourite Table -

Shekhi­nah has come a long way since en­ter­ing in 2011. What does she get up to when she’s not singing, record­ing, or per­form­ing at the SAMAs? Ap­par­ently, she can be found

en­joy­ing Sumt­ing Fresh’s glo­ri­ous fried chicken Why Sumt­ing Fresh?

I’m ob­sessed with their fried chicken!

They put it in a steamed bun, and over skinny fries; it’s in­sane. On a Sun­day, we go to the Four­ways Farmer’s Mar­ket, pay R10 to go in, buy from the Sumt­ing Fresh stall, and go home. I go both there and to the restau­rant for the chicken. We even shot our last mu­sic video there.

What’s your sig­na­ture dish at home?

I don’t cook enough! I al­ways buy

Woolies’ seeded rolls to have with ham, or a chicken with cous­cous. My part­ner [de­signer Lun­gelo Lifa Xulu] and I don’t have time, so we make small, quick meals. If friends are com­ing over, I’ll get a ro­tis­serie chicken from Woolies, or I’ll make chicken-and-mush­room pasta or lasagne. That was my favourite dish as a child. With home-made three-cheese sauce. What do you eat be­fore you sing?

I can’t eat much be­fore a show. Af­ter­wards, I go to Hud­son’s or Sumt­ing Fresh and pig out. We re­ally just drink a lot of wa­ter be­fore­hand. We of­ten have to wait in a place where there’s food and drink, and it’s not good.

You’ve just won three SAMAs, how did that feel?

It feels like I stud­ied re­ally hard at school – I fo­cused and got full marks.

It’s some­thing I’ve been work­ing hard on for a long time, so that feels re­ally good.

You grew up in Dur­ban and live in Joburg – how do the cities com­pare? What I love about Dur­ban is that it’s home. I was born at Ad­ding­ton Hospi­tal on the beach and I’ve al­ways felt a re­ally strong con­nec­tion to the ocean. It makes me feel like my­self; re­freshed. Also, there’s no win­ter. And I love the fact that my fam­ily is there. But af­ter I’m re­freshed, I miss Joburg. I wanna get up and go and work. Joburg is such a fast-paced, colour­ful place. Joburg puts a fire­cracker un­der me and I ap­pre­ci­ate that.

Talk us through the song-writ­ing process. How does a song get built?

If it’s a col­lab­o­ra­tion I’ll get the in­stru­men­tal from a pro­ducer or the per­son who owns the beat and if I re­ally like it, I’ll record an idea and that ends up be­ing the cho­rus or the hook. From there you just build. It’s the build­ing that takes the time – it can stretch out to six months or a year. I record in a home stu­dio – so ev­ery­thing is very chilled; it’s very in­ti­mate.

Who keeps you go­ing?

My dad, Phil, and my sis­ter, Liz. She is the per­son who en­cour­aged me to au­di­tion for Idols. She en­cour­aged me to ex­plore my dreams and pas­sion for singing. She’s still in­volved; she’s re­ally, re­ally tal­ented. Af­ter the com­pe­ti­tion, my dad was the mo­ti­vat­ing force be­hind me, en­cour­ag­ing me to make the right de­ci­sions. It’s hard to see things holis­ti­cally when you’re in a ca­reer led by pas­sion; to see where you want to go. He en­cour­aged me to study mu­sic so I could fall back on it – be a pro­ducer, a mu­sic teacher. He felt like that was im­por­tant and I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate that, be­cause hon­estly with­out my AFDA de­gree, we wouldn’t have got­ten the mu­sic that we have out of me.

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