– Ntokozo Botjie
Let me start in the corniest way possible; it was Thursday the 15th of November just after 5pm CAT, she walked through the doors at Trans Africa Radio where I work as a Radio Host & all round superman. I had finally reached the end of the road, it had been months of sliding into her DMs trying to arrange an interview and here she was in the flesh. I was ecstatic!
We were only a few hours away from the release of her debut album “Tugela Fairy” and somehow, she seemed really calm, so I decided to freak out on her behalf, but we won’t go into it.
This piece is really and truly about the beauty of her art so we’ll try to stay on focus.
A young Neo-Folk/Neo-Soul artist from Tugela in the East Coast of South Africa, born Simphiwe Nhlangulela, Simmy has many gobs smacked with her angelic voice and highly provocative lyrics.
I first heard this fairy on Sonini, a track she was featured on by Sun El Musician, who was quick & smart enough to snap her up on a record deal under Sun-EL Worlds. By the time I met her, I had only heard a few records off her album and those were songs she has rolled out as singles to capture the masses before the official release; Ubala, Umahlalela, Ngiyesaba and Nawe. But those were enough to have me hooked!
The intro to Tugela Fairy; “Kwa-Zulu” is the beginning of an amazing journey, a taste of what’s to come. In the 12 tracked album, this fairy pays homage to her roots, shares her thoughts and runnings with the oh so famous love. Incwadi Encane featuring Eswatini’s S-Tone was an immediate favourite and is, in fact, the only other feature on the album after the smash hit “Ubala” which features Sun-El Musician. The production on the album I find is a distinct mixture of house and traditional South African sounds and it reminds me of artists like Soul Brothers and duo Mina Nawe. (link both acts).
As Black Coffee would say, this is living room music, so go on, buy the physical copy, stream it or download. Whatever you’d prefer, just get your hands on this as you’d need it as you go on holidays or just chill in your living room trying to leave 2018 behind and prepare for the New Year.
One last thing efore I stop typing, you might have picked up at that I have a crush on this Tugela Fairy named Simmy, and it is my opinion that if you don’t fight it, you most certainly would be joining me at the ‘crushing on Simmy’ table, at the very least, after one listen.
May the Tugela Fairy be with you.