WE chat to musicians making waves in the SA music scene!
SHE’S the ultimate gqom queen, having taken over local dance floors ever since the release of her wildly popular debut single Wololo, and 2018 has been an exciting year for the singer. She featured on the official Black Panther soundtrack and has just dropped a single with Major Lazer, so we caught up with Babes Wodumo to talk about her music, her live shows and why her fans are so important to her.
It’s really been something to see you become one of the pioneers of gqom in South Africa. Where did your passion for dance music stem from?
My passion for music came from the love I had for my musical queens Brenda Fassie, Lebo Mathosa, Mshoza and Chomme. Every time I watched them live or on TV I realised that this was what I wanted to do with my life, and since then I’ve made sure to give 100 percent to make my dream a reality.
Wololo catapulted you into super-stardom. Why do you think to many people around the country identified with the song?
I think that when a song, no matter which genre, connects with the hearts of the people you are singing to, magic happens. That was the case with Wololo. It was a song that transcended genre barriers and spoke to an entire nation, which was really special to see. I am really proud of the song and all the success it has achieved.
It must have been a great feeling to work on such an incredible project like the Black Panther soundtrack. What African elements did you want to bring to your track Redemption?
I am an African and the only African element I planned on bringing into the song was myself. It was important to stay true to myself on the song and I think we managed to bring Zacari’s personality and my personality into the song.
Your music has made international audiences sit up and listen. Why do you think gqom is so interesting to music fans around the world?
It’s interesting ’cause outside South Africa (and even Durban specifically), gqom is an unusual sound but one thatyou can’t stop dancing to. I think the fact that it is so unusual makes it interesting to other people, makes the genre memorable. Gqom really is the future and my career is testament to that.
You recently worked alongside Major Lazer for your new single Orkant. What was that experience like?
Working with Major Lazer was such an overwhelming experience. I don’t know even know how to describe it. I guess my mom was right. She always said, “When it’s God’s time, it is indeed God’s time.” Diplo is a massive fan of gqom music and I am happy that he is sharing the sound with the world.
Your live shows are incredible! What, in your opinion, makes the perfect live show?
Rehearsals. You can’t expect to give a great show if you don’t rehearse. I also make sure that my heart takes over when I am on stage and not my thoughts. That way, my fans get everything they expect from a Babes Wodumo show.
You recently appeared on Tropika Smoooth Fan. What was the best part about getting up close and personal with your fans?
Tropika Smoooth Fan is unlike anything else I have done before and, like my biggest fans know, I love a good challenge. I was really excited to interact with my fans on the show and see if they are really as much of a big fan as they claim to be. It was a lot of fun.
What does 2019 have in store for you?
You guys can expect more music, more live performances and more surprises. Keep a close eye on me in 2019!