Simphiwe Dana

Afro-soul, gospel, jazz and Solo Musician - Johannesburg
Simphiwe Dana

 

Simphiwe Dana has announced the release of her new studio album Kulture Noir. Kulture Noir is the highly anticipated follow-up to her two critically acclaimed previous releases; the platinum selling Zandisile (2004) and gold selling The One Love Movement On Bantu Biko Street (2006).

Simphiwe Dana has received an impressive 6 SAMA Awards, including Best New Comer in 2004 and Album of The Year in 2007 for The One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street.

Kulture Noir comprises thirteen new songs and builds on Dana's trademark fusion of deep African musical roots, inspired melodies and a stunningly unique contemporary voice. The result is another beautifully crafted collection to add to the South African songbook.

In South Africa an incredible creative potential exists that ranks among the world's finest. One of that potential's most recent success stories bears the name Simphiwe Dana. This young vocalist with an earthy voice that gets under the skin is one of the absolute shooting stars on the South African music scene. Media in South Africa hail Simphiwe Dana as "the best thing to happen to Afro-Soul music since Miriam Makeba” and entitled her as "South Africa’s Jazz Diva No#1".

Her debut album "Zandisile" has received platinum status. During her first European tour in 2006 Simphiwe was celebrated by audiences with standing ovations wherever she performed. Simphiwe is one of the most sought-after performers to emerge from South Africa in many years and the future looks even more promising for this hard working artist..

Simphiwe Dana

 

It is a credit to her immense schooling in different musical forms, not to mention her talent, that Dana sings as if she has known a lot of pain and suffering in her life. Musically schooled in a church choir from her native Eastern Cape, the distinct influence of gospel music can be heard on her first album “Zandisile”. As the apartheid era came to a close Simphiwe Dana started off by studying fashion design. But after moving to Johannesburg, the hub of the South African music industry, it was her appearances at open-mike sessions that immediately caught the attention of established musicians and producers. They eventually resulted in the recordings for her first album.

When asked about direct influences, Simphiwe Dana names the jazz legends Lena Horne and Sarah Vaughan, South African veteran vocalists like Dorothy Masuka, but also lesser greats from the realms of reggae, jive and traditional Xhosa music. She defines her own style as Modern African Soul. Her lyrics speak mainly of the significance of tradition, but also of the struggle for self-confidence and freedom, especially freedom for women.

In her short spanned career, Simphiwe Dana has received many invitations to perform on big concerts and has shared a stage with notable and excelled musicians.

Among the notable performances she has performed at the Noble Peace Prize Winner and former South African President, Nelson Mandela’s 83rd birthday. Simphiwe Dana has also performed at both the North Sea Jazz Festival and twice at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz- both being the top Jazz and Soul events that South Africa has to offer. Simphiwe recently represented South Africa as a cultural ambassador in an extensive tour of China prior to the Olympic Games 2008. With many more performances on her record, from the scenic Dolomites in Italy to the trendy theatres of Berlin in Germany, this is only the start for Simphiwe Dana’s both South African and international live performance career.

 

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