Lady X tells SA love tale in her single
It took Lady X panic attacks, nervous spells, bouts of depression and fear to emerge as a spirited Afro-soul songstress.
The woman, who has made a name for herself in house
circles, ditched her record
label and the sound that made her popular for something sultry, sensual - but above all real.
Her single iGugu Lami -
accompanied by a beautifully shot video in Alexandra - strips her of all the glam, smokes and screens. It shows a loving couple in their shack in the township and being content with the little they have.
Lady X explains why she shunned the shiny mansion, snazzy wheels and the champagne life that have become a staple in today's music videos.
"I'm in South Africa. I'm not in Hollywood. I needed to be honest in my music and reflect our reality. It makes me sad to see so many artists mimic American artists when we have such rich cultures."
She shares what iGugu Lami is about. "The heart is every woman's pride and joy. Every woman has gone through heartbreak but, at the end of the day, we only have our hearts, it's our prized possession. So, when we go into relationships, I ask that please treat my heart with care because it has gone through so much, love it and respect it."
As part of shooting the video, she spent some time in the densely populated township opposite Sandton.
"Those women have gone through heartbreak, but they are happy with where they live. They have the love of the family and friends, and a sense of community.
"Living in the suburbs, people are so focused on chasing money that they don't [even] greet or talk to neighbours ..."
So involved in her music is Lady X that she conceptualised and sourced the location of the video.
"It was a lot of hard work. I wanted to tell a South African love story. I kept saying, 'whatever happens here, this is real'. I styled the whole video, each and every element.
"It's easy when the partner in the video is your real-life partner who also co-directed the video," she says, referring to her model and stylist boyfriend Nkosi Ngcobo.
Her album is produced by master hitmaker Mojalefa Mjakes Thebe. "I couldn't believe it when he offered, I was nervous and anxious.
"Going into the studio with five live session musicians was scary, but we killed it."
She plans to release the second single, Mama Ndiyabulela, around June, and she will again conceptualise the video.
"If I don't control what I put out there, and it's not me, what are the people to believe? So, it's going to be authentic soulful music we can relate to."
Lady X conquered her fears with the support and love of her mother, boyfriend and friends who told her: "Whatever you set your mind to, you can do it".
"Fear is part of the journey to success, embrace the anxiety and just do it. Doing house had too much drama and was not a good space. I felt trapped and I wasn't giving it my absolute all and honesty.
"There was too much darkness. Now I feel lighter and see my truth. I have attained the light and I am goal-orientated."
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