Global Beats- Simphiwe Dana

I’m an avid listener of world music aka global beats*. I love sharing my music so in this series I’ll showcase my favourite musicians from all over the world.

Simphiwe Dana is a South African jazz singer. I’m not sure if her music is classifiable to be honest but she performed at the Cape Town Jazz Festival so I assumed jazz would be the most appropriate classification. Though she said in this interview that the industry is responisble for labelling her music as jazz which is totally understandable. According to her Wiki page she has been hailed as the new Miriam Makeba and her music is a unique combination of jazz, pop and traditional music.

When I first heard her voice I thought she was in her 40s because of its deep, rich tone. She has a very mature voice and I was shocked to discover she is in her 20s. She uses her music as a means of empowering Africans to take back control and stop existing in the margin. Though she sings in her native tongue Xhosa, her album leaflet offers translations of her songs. Through reading translations of her songs I realised that she sings about things that are on my mind.

Here is Ndiredi from her first album ‘Zandisile’.

And here is Lifestile Zegolide from her second album ‘The One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street.

Lifestile Zegolide – Simphiwe Dana

*I did not come up with ‘global beats’ I got that from my friend.