It is very much special and rare to find an artist, blessed with natural charisma, that instantly connects to her audience with her music and her glowing personality.

Esteemed singers such as Jamie Cullum, Robbie Williams or Aretha Franklin only need a few minutes to create an invisible bond between themselves and the audience. 

Now, with the acclaimed quality of her new album "African Day" and her superb live performances, Nomfusi Gotyana has now joined this Luminary club of vocal powerhouses, intuitive and entertaining stage masters. Her soulful vocal range - at times radiant, sometimes growling, sometimes enchanting, delivered with almost inexplicable force belittles her diminutive petite frame of barely 1.50 meters in height. With an absolute dedication to music, unique expression of a strong personality, the outstanding Nomfusi continues to break new grounds. Combining the sound of American Motown connected with African Sophiatown-Soul to a World Pop, with its own accent. The love song in Xhosa on the anthemic "Sthandwa Sami" is sung with one of the eleven South African languages. The title track gives a lively description of a typical South African daily routine delivered in the characteristic of the local music tradition of clicking sounds. Whilst most of the songs are written by Nomfusi, with some collaborations with Vincent de Giorgio ( Caro Emerald ) and the keyboard player and producer of the album Harald Reitinger – all of the songs are stamped with her extraordinary personality. "The beauty of African music is that you can tell serious issues quite easily," says Nomfusi. The funky-casual opener "Wave of Love", reflecting carefree Al Jarreau songs, is presented here with downs of love, laughter and tears in contrast to the actual backdrop. When Nomfusi was twelve years old her mother died of HIV-AIDS. Her childhood in KwaZhakele, a small townships of Port Elisabeth, was anything but easy. She grew up in very poor conditions. Her father was in prison. Her aunt and later her sister died of the AIDS. Her foster family were violent and unwelcoming.  However, Nomfusi possesses two powerful properties that enabled her  to escape this misery and poverty: An irrepressible desire to shape her own life and a great voice. "As long as I can remember, I have been singing in the yard, at school and in the church choir," she recalls. Fortunately her talent didn´t lay undiscovered. Her local music school principal granted her a scholarship for singing and songwriting, where she meets a music teacher and producer who took her under his wing. Slowly her reputation began to spread in Africa, and then beyond - to the rest of the world. During this ascent, Nomfusi played at many important festivals like Lugano Jazz or as support act for Lionel Richie at Stimmen Festival in Loerrach.  Two years ago she portrayed the biggest role model of all African female singers: “Mother Africa” Miriam Makeba in the Golden Globe awarded film biography “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom". With her album "African Day" the recently married and, 31-year-old, young mother is now ready to finally conquer the world. Songs like, the very personal, "My Mothers Spear", which is dedicated to the memory of her mother and all African mothers, who are still the backbone of their society, “Hero” the rousing tribute to Nelson Mandela, “Stay With Me” – delivered with her highest vocal range,  written when her sister was dying,  the energetic Soul of "Do not Play That Game" - where Nomfusi descends into great depths, with a dramatic and harsh emphasis (a la Eartha Kitt) at the end, pop ballads such as "You Are" or "Wait", which, with the universal language of music, can be immediately understood and felt by everyone. To "Wrong Side", the elegiac duet with the British-Caribbean singer Leee John, of the famous soul band Imagination.

“African Day” was made possible by the seamless cooperation and seamless contributions by the renowned Ingoma Award producer Sam Ngonyama, the German Hit producer Harald Reitinger and excellent South African and German musicians - with special mention of keyboardist John Amoako from Hamburg,  bassist Stefan Pfaffinger and guitarist Markus Escher from Munich.  As Nomfusi combines both worlds, with her unique ongoing power, to deliver the best with “African Day” the listener will be won over in less than a minute.

Oliver Hochkeppel

 

 

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