Nothende on the struggles of a South African artist
01 January 1970
You can also listen to these podcasts directly from the Old Mutual app, which is available here.
Welcome to Old Mutual Live Radio. My name is Aphiwe Manono and as usual, we profile South African artists that are making their mark in the music industry. Today we are in conversation with sultry songstress Nothende. We speak about the relations between fellow musicians in the country. Are we still seeing the hate between sisters in the music industry and brothers in the music industry? Where does local music stand, and what do local artists know about each other? These are only but a few of the things I speak about with Nothende today.
Nothende: They are starting to realise the benefit of collaboration. They are starting to see how it can help them in their careers and whatever visions and goals they have for themselves. So that’s a yes, and that’s a great thing, I think. That’s one thing I’ve been practicing for a long time, so I completely understand its value, so I am very, very happy that it’s happening.
Music needs to be about more than money
But now there’s a large breed of collaborations that are happening merely for image sake. Merely for the purposes of gaining more followers and having more money. So now it’s still not something that’s true to the purpose of music, so to speak. Music has a vast purpose. Sometimes you just want to dance. Sometimes you want to cry. Sometimes you know, but it becomes a little bit worrying when an artist, album after album, song after song, all they tell you is about themselves, for instance, and how great they are.
Even when they collaborate, it’s the same. Especially in the times that we’re facing, I think, in this country and the world. There’s a lot of things in terms of our dialogue that needs to change. A lot of stories that were telling me to change. We really need to start saying things that can make people think differently because a lot of people pay a lot more attention to what people are doing and saying now, because of social media I suppose. It’s a great thing that people’s minds are magnified like that but now, it is also very crucial to be a voice that sort of creates positivity.
Some people may listen and say, ‘ja, hey, you can’t be deep all the time, but no one is taking anything away from turning up. You have to. It’s part of life. There must be a balance. It’s life. You must have a good time now and again but if you look at what is happening around us, you know. There’s so much crime. There’s so much hatred. There’s so much corruption. There’s just a lot of weird things happening in this world that are freaking a lot of people out and maybe it’s our dialogue that needs to change. We can’t depend on media so much anymore. It becomes very difficult to, actually blame someone else for certain things, because a lot of people have the same kind of voice now.
We need to collectively build confidence through our music
Everyone has a Twitter account, a Facebook account. You may not have the same followers but it is so easy for something you say to be captured and be taken up virally, so everyone sort of has the same platform. I think content is very, very important. I love the fact that there are a lot of collaborations happening but I do worry sometimes that the content is still lacking in terms of encouraging the African mind, so to speak.
To really go into itself, really figure out its strength, and really go deep, I don’t know, fix things, or just really make life better, you know. Not on the surface but find true and proper healing and be honest and really dig deep, and find the truth. Because I suppose a lot of things do distract us and I suppose some things were created to distract us.
Whether it be alcohol, whether it be drugs, whether it be fame, a lot of things that we’re consuming, a lot of things that we are allowing ourselves to consume are really created to distract. As much as they are there and it’s part of life. We need to be careful how we consume them because it means we are distracted our entire lives.
Yes, that’s not such a good thing but I think everything happens in time. You can’t force anything to happen. It will happen when the time is right and I suppose now is the time for the collaborations to happen. When the time is right then people will start thinking about, okay why are we actually collaborating. What are actually saying when we are collaborating, in due time I guess, yeah.
AN: All right. Just one more second. Are you back?
N: Can you hear me?
AN: That’s better.
N: Okay cool.
AN: Okay, here we go…[Singing]. Only a ‘day one’ Nothende fan would know that song. I would like to put that out there.
N: Thank you.
Time to reflect on the music past and present
AN: Let’s get to the music. I know that was from a CD called, it was something for women. Umzamsi CD for something. It was back in the day.
N: Yes, it ws. I think it was Lady. I forgot.
AN: Ladies in the House or something.
N: But yes, that was incredible. That was such a dope experience.
AN: So your albums, Nothende, you’ve released Love Light, The Rebirth, which was incredibly well received. You had Remember Love on that song, which is an absolutely beautiful song.
N: Thank you.
AN: I understand you are working on your third album now, titled Brave Heart. What can fans expect with your new music and what direction did you want to take with it? Just wrap it up for us and just tell us what we can expect from Nothende next.
N: Yeah, I think you know with Love Light and Rebirth it was really kind of finding or reconnect me to that inner voice. Just really finding the greatness in it, and really celebrating that. That was the energy of the first two albums and you know, as I say, life happens. I went through some things in that process. You know, I discovered some things about myself, about certain people, I met certain people, and I think with Brave Heart.
Brave Heart happened without me intending for it to happen. I just found myself writing about what I was really, really feeling about someone. It was weird because I always ran away from writing relationship songs. I always wrote about whether it’s self-love or, you know that kind of love. But I always ran away from writing about relationships because I always felt it would sound so cheesy, R and B, and what-what.
But I found myself writing about relationships because I had found myself in a certain relationship and it really did affect the way I thought about anything. I found myself writing the song and I completely fell in love immediately. I immediately fell in love. I immediately knew that this was the first song for the next album called Brave Heart.
It was just in that very moment when I wrote that song, I knew that, okay, the next album is called Brave Heart, and this is what it is going to be about. It’s really going to be about me just pouring my heart there. It doesn’t matter what my heart has to say.
Whether it’s talking about a relationship, whether it’s talking about self-love, or whatever it is, I will not block it. As I have done before, I have blocked certain things and just projected certain things. Now, I’m not blocking anything. I’m not blocking my experience of love and relationships. Yeah, man it is. That’s Brave Heart.
AN: We cannot wait to hear it.
N: Yeah man. I’m very excited about it I’m obviously a bit nervous. It’s slightly it doesn’t have a brightened energy, as Love Light and Rebirth. It is not as happy. Not to say it’s a sad and depressing album. It is just you can hear in the music and in my content that I’ve gone a little deeper, a little darker. We’re a little more serious now, so yeah, I’m very excited about that.
AN: Well, Nothende thank you so much for taking the time out to speak to us on Old Mutual Radio today.
N: Thank you. It’s been great.
AN: We really appreciate it.