Judith Sephuma's new live show power-packed
Acclaimed, prolific and versatile jazz vocalist Judith Sephuma will present a highly charged two-hour live recording, Power of Dreams Listening Session Live, at Monte Casino in Fourways, north of Joburg, tonight.
Sephuma will be accompanied by an orchestra and her band at Emperors Palace's Theatre of Marcellus. The recording comes four months after the release of her eighth album, Power of Dreams.
Sephuma said that putting together a live show is quite daunting.
Speaking to SowetanLIVE just two days before the event, Sephuma was putting the final touches to the songs, sound and lighting design.
Like all perfectionists, she explains that she wanted everything to go smoothly for everybody.
"When you have been doing this for so long it is easy to let your guard down, taking for granted that people know I can sing. But with me I am getting worse, every time. With every show I want to be better than the previous ones, musically, the way I look and the sound."
She adds: "So far I am happy with how things are going. On Friday morning I'm doing a dress rehearsal where I will do all the songs. From then, we take two hours' break before we go live. I think I am going to have fun despite my concerns."
Yet the sultry singer, who has been in the music industry for almost two decades, finds it hard to relax.
"I pray that my voice does not crack. not that it did before. One thing that always makes one nervous is forgetting the lyrics. I pray that there must not be load-shedding," she shares.
She says the difference between her previous live recordings and this one is that she has gone more elegant. She cannot wait to put on her elegant outfit.
"I am looking forward to wearing my outfit, it inspires me. I know I have a mature audience and I want the new one, which comprises young people, to walk into that elegant style."
Sephuma, who embarked on a journey of self-discovery for two years, returned to the music scene with Power of Dreams.
She explains that the title song was written by her 18-year-old daughter Lethabo.
The Limpopo-born artist reveals that she wrote the song on her phone, recorded it and sent it to her daughter, who was very impressed.
The award-winning artist came out with a mesmeric album that provides solace and a magical experience for music lovers.
"The Power of Dreams album emanates from a fountain of inspiration [fed] by music, love and life itself. I missed my sound from a long time ago, and this propelled me to step away from my comfort zone and allow myself to open my mind up to new ideas.
"To achieve this, I had to be in the best place mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
"Once I got into that place the creative juices began to flow, and I knew it was time to package a beautiful album that would bare my soul, and allow for powerful connections.
"I wanted to write and produce my work for a change, and I did it."
The album, recorded, mixed and mastered at Orange Peel Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, was produced by Sephuma herself, as well US-based Joseph Williams. Williams has worked with great artists and bands such as Prince, Bobby Brown, BBD and the Circle View.
The offering boasts a potpourri of tracks for every occasion, moment and emotion. It opens up with a samba feel-good song, Dance, inspired by the love Sephuma has for her friends that she describes as "great friends that I will not trade for anything and have been the same friends forever".
She says the song Maropeng "is about celebrating where we come from, and the importance of always remembering the beauty of home".
With the song A Man Like You, Sephuma said she celebrates love.
"On this track, I got all kinds of artistic. I added a dash of Italian, some Spanish and my favourite language, Sepedi. Here I am celebrating the beauty of love. That's all," Sephuma says.
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