The jewel in a Golden Circle
She was inspired to get involved because, economically, there isn’t much going on in Hamburg. So her aim is to bring people around and invest in the city.
Much of her EP, 2013’s Nalithemba, and her album Zaneliza is based on hope and progress. She describes Nalithemba as similar to a business card in that it’s a relatively vague introduction and “you’re just trying to say hey.” Zaneliza is an extension of Nalithemba with a more wideranging, grown and full sound, largely thanks to the involvement of her band, Golden Circle.
Made up of a close knit group of family and friends Golden Circle has shaped her sound profoundly.
“Making the album put us together. And we wanted to share that sound as authentically as possible. The skin and bones of the song is me and the guitar, that’s the starting point of the song. Golden Circle is kind of where the music happens, they start revealing these layers that are only heard in my head.
“A lot of them are just people I want to be around whether I’m making music or not, which is really important to me. They’re all talented musicians with different backgrounds that I feel like have more than I could ever ask for to contribute to my song.”
“This year we’re gonna try and tour the country as much as possible and play live. I mean, we’re a performance band, I’m a performing artist and I think that even if I’m performing with a smaller group it’s still going to be about the performance.”
While watching YouTube videos of her work, I came across videos documenting the making of Zaneliza dated as far back as early 2015. She says she started actively recording it around late 2014.
“The other thing about a debut album is that it’s not songs that I wrote just now. This is from my journal from when I was like 17. That’s the thing about first projects, it’s almost like your whole life before your music career started in the public eye. Especially in the creative space, that’s what you share. That’s why the album was such a long process. And, making the album the way I wanted to, it needed to take time and I needed to give it space so that it wasn’t a rushed thing.”
And because of this, Zaneliza has so many layers. Layers that peel off with each listen to reveal one of the more understated albums in recent memory.