BODY OF WORK
The only way I know a song will be a hit is if I am able to feel it when I am dancing to the beats. If I can’t feel good in my body listening to the song, I don’t make it. Growing up I learnt Latin American and ballroom dancing, and actually started teaching dance to people at a community centre nearby. Today I dance everywhere: at home with my daughter, in front of the studio mirror, and obviously on stage when I’m performing. At the moment I am the supporting act for Die Antwoord on their European tour, and it’s interesting to see how the European audiences love my moves. They get it.
I hear the crowd. I hear the connection. I structure my hooks by listening to how one part connects to another, and make sure that the writing itself doesn’t disconnect from the sound. Also, the music that the international market has caught onto, like ‘Rabubi’, is about how the sound connects to something like SpiderMan, which is universal. So I make relatable stories with a hook. I’m able to hear when a song is missing something. My attention span is very short, and I can hear when someone’s attention will wane with a song. I want a track to make me do something, and sound the way I want to hear it.
I started off studying fashion design in Port Elizabeth, and now I’m working on my own line for the European market between recording my album, so I draw the designs and cut the pieces myself. Working with my hands has always been my first love; it inspires my music and identity as an artist. I also write by hand instead of typing, which I think makes my music different. My design aesthetic is something that the big brands can attach to for sponsorships, so working with my hands has become an important part of my business.
I began singing even when people told me to shut up. In Port Elizabeth, when I stopped dancing, my friends and I started this group called Babes Galz because we loved Spice Girls. We used to battle to see who would be Baby Spice. I added my own melody to the songs and then I performed at charity gigs that my mom found for me. It’s what got me here, to this place where I now perform around the world.
My hair is Moonchild; it’s my image. People started recognising me right in the beginning when I was trying to get gigs as ‘that girl with the blue hair’ and today it has stuck with me. Without knowing what I do, you are curious about what I do because of my hair. Brands were afraid at first because it’s too distinct, but now my hair makes brands edgier. It’s my signature.
I think of all the crazy stuff I write about, which generally happens very fast. But my process is unpredictable, and it depends on where I’m at. Sometimes gqom can take longer, other times it doesn’t, but it depends on the vibe of the place I’m in. I’m a writer, so it means a lot to me that what my head is thinking comes across in what I do, whether it’s music, fashion or just talking to people. moonchildsanelly