With emphasis to venture into new territories and introduce our readers to new and unfamiliar sounds; we caught up with Voodoo Soul musician, Angela Nimah.
Angela Nimah is a singer, songwriter, writer, vocalist, entrepreneur, founder and ambassador of RVL™, designer, stylist, and blogger. This young lady is another example of a multi-skilled artist/entertainer set on making a success in multiple creative disciplines.
Her latest musical offering Diagnosis is out, and available for download and streaming. Angela opened up to us about her brand of music, defining her sound, entrepreneurial ventures, where she draws inspiration from and so much more.
Lavatory Records: Who is Angela Nimah and where did you grow up?
Angela Nimah: Angela Nimah, also known as Tshego, is a creative. I sing, write, perform and am also highly involved within the arts and craft scene. I grew up in Soweto, Orlando East to be more specific. I moved back and forth between Orlando and Tladi, where I was raised by my grandmother. It all started in 2010 when I stepped on stage to recite my first poem and ever since, where I fell in love with performance, stage craft and communication. Ultimately that’s what I aim to do, to communicate thought-provoking stories and melodies. Art is not something I was taught, I’ve always been artistic and ‘different’.
LR: Why the name Angela Nimah and what does it mean?
AN: Angela is my middle name and Nimah means Tshegofatso or blessing in Swahili. Initially I had wanted to call myself Nimah Angela because of the order of my first and second name. But my engineer at the time suggested that I swap the names around because it had a nice ring to it. So the name isn’t too far off from home, it’s still my name.
LR: When did you discover your singing talent?
AN: I realised that I had a knack for art since I was a child. However I only realised that I could sing only in my adolescent life when my cousin (who can also sing), would coax me into pretending that we sang in a choir (laughs). In realising my numerous talents, I ran with this one too.
LR: You call your genre “Voodoo Soul”. Please break it down to us what it is and what it’s about?
AN: Voodoo Soul is a combination of my favourite music genres: Hip Hop and trip-hop elements, Neo-soul, RnB, and broken beat electronica. Very spiritually driven and you’ll hear this in my mystic chanting. It’s got a dark side but for the great of good. But ultimately it’s a sound that is evolving.
LR: Who are your musical inspirations?
AN: First and foremost, I grew up listening to the likes of Lauren Hill, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Simphiwe Dana, Goapele and so on… these are a few of many vocalists who have inspired my sound. However I’d like to think that I sound like myself (laughs).
LR: What is it like to be a performing artist in the local music industry?
AN: It’s a challenge for the most part; I’m still growing as a performing artist. I can’t say I’m quite at the pivotal moment of my music career. I’m grateful for the small mercies and positive responses from people. I do see myself expanding outside of Africa, though – after exploring Africa that is. Hopefully!
LR: Are there any changes you’d like to see in the local music industry?
AN: Yes. I’d like to see more unity and consideration for raw and authentic talent. I’d like to see less monotony or none in fact. I’d like to see consistency and funding for the art, and if not that, then a platform for arts and craft, where independent artists can remain independent as well as being exposed to a wider audience.
LR: Tell us about your delving into the fashion industry and how is that going for you?
AN: As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m dynamic in my creativity. I’ve been blessed with quite a lot (laughs) and fashion being on the list of what I do, came about when I would be illustrating little images of anything – until I actually started illustrating models in different outfits. I’ve always enjoyed cutting and pasting, destroying and creating, and recycling. My grandmother taught me how to crochet and then I learnt how to knit in school. I’ve been in a number of fashion shows, both as model and fashion assistant. So most of what I do is innate, skilful and practical. And it’s going pretty well for me.
LR: Which artists and producers have you had the pleasure of working with?
AN: A lot of us are upcoming artists and we try by all means to boost one another through collaborations. I’ve worked with Blister Jay Pop – a producer from Free State; iamx – a producer from Pretoria; MphoKai1 – a producer from Soweto; Jalettua Nuune – a vocalist from Lenasia; Lex Tha Boxcutta – a producer from Botswana; Skyf Age – a rap duo from Johannesburg; Skits Tha Retrospect and Lyrical Tip – who are rappers from Pretoria; and hopefully will continue to work with many more artists in the future.
LR: If timing and resources were perfectly aligned, name three artists you would want to work with today?
AN: Jill Scott, Goapele and Simphiwe Dana.
LR: Soul is considered a niche market genre; would you consider “crossing over” to other musical offerings in order to access a bigger market?
AN: I feel like soul and hip hop are already a foundation to my sound, of which are forever evolving. Voodoo Soul is something that happened when I started recording my music based on the beats I would get. The feel will always be there, but the sound will evolve. So yes, I think I would delve into other genres as I have been.
LR: Are you currently working on anything that we should be on the lookout for?
AN: Yes, two projects. One that is now up on SoundCloud titled Diagnosis is produced by Blister Jay Pop. The other one that is still being seasoned with the correct flavours is titled, The Odd One and is produced by MphoKai1. Also I will hopefully have a few shows here and there.
LR: Anyone you’d like to shout out?
AN: Ha-ha! God, The Supreme… The All Attractive!
We thank Angela Nimah for taking time to talk to us. Follow her on Facebook, SoundCloud, and Tumblr; and remember to check out her latest project entitled Diagnosis, available on SoundCloud for download and streaming.