WE chat to mu­si­cians mak­ing waves in the SA mu­sic scene!

People (South Africa) - - Off The Record -

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!

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