Young French orchestra for Wanda
Wanda Baloyi will join France and Sophiatown when she performs at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival.
The So Amazing musician will sing a song of Miriam Makeba, who is synonymous with Sophiatown, with the Orchestra National De Jazz from France.
She will also be one of the solo headliners on Sunday.
Their performance is part of an exchange concept between the two countries and it's the first time that France is taking part in the festival.
Baloyi says she is not intimidated though she will have a very short time to rehearse with the band before tomorrow's performance.
She did not want to divulge much about the Makeba song she will sing.
"I've done classical meets jazz before so I'm very relaxed. I'm the type of person that doesn't want to get too comfortable with a certain type of sound and then stick to it," she says.
Baloyi was not at all concerned about not having met the band yet.
"We've already exchanged music sheets and they know the kind of song I will be performing. I'm excited about the collaboration. The orchestra members are a very young and funky bunch and they will be bringing out a a different energy," Baloyi says.
Baloyi came on to the music scene in the late 1990s, with a group of friends calling themselves Ghetto Luv.
The group ruffled a few feathers in the industry, thanks to their in-your-face-attitude and their revealing clothes.
Their faces were more popular than their music, which was evident when the all-girl group fell apart a few years later. But this was only the beginning for Baloyi. In 2003 she recorded her first debut album Voices, whose sound was jazzy, soulful and mature compared to the pop churned out by Ghetto Luv.
"I didn't study music and when I was with Ghetto Luv, it was all about fun and being free. And coming from that background, I really had a lot to learn because I was dealing with professional people and working with a live band. It was extremely scary. It was a learning curve. I had to adapt and to gather as much as I could," Baloyi says.
She says studying music was not her priority.
"Music is not a book-thing. I learnt as I grew. Music is spiritual and it comes with feelings and I'm at the point where I prefer it this way.
Those other technicalities you are taught at school help along the way, but I'm happy with what I have," Baloyi says.
Perhaps its her musical upbringing that has made it easier to adapt.
Baloyi's parents were Mozambican . Her father, Jaco Maria Ngoka, was the lead singer of the legendary group, Ozila, that was famous for the song I'm Suffering, back in the 1980s. Her mother, Joyce Baloyi, is also a singer of note.
Baloyi has released three albums and she is currently working on her fourth, which will be released next year.
What I did with my first pay cheque...
Gave it all to my mom
My first kiss was...
In high school, with a crush of mine (it was so bad)
My first celebrity crush was..
Tevin Cambel (hahaha)
My first shining moment at school was when...
I won a singing competition, I sang Boys to Men's End of the Road
My first car was...
A tiny Kia Picanto.
My first house was..
In Cape Town
My first paying gig paid ..
Truly, R1000...; and, I thought I was rich!
My first TV appearance was..
Simunye Grooves, and with Ghetto Luv, hahhahaha!
The first negative story about me was ..
That I was now working in a shebeen in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, selling drinks and food to students.
My first trip outside SA was..
The first CD or cassette I ever bought was..
A Boom Shaka cassette.