Kelly Khumalo still in the wars, and sings about it
Songstress Kelly Khumalo has mastered the skill of turning the lemons life gives her into lemonade, and she's still determined to emerge victorious from her recent battles.
Khumalo's latest track, Empini, written and produced by Mondli Ngcobo of Inkanyezi fame, also talks to the wars she and people are facing.
"When we were in studio creating the song, we wanted to talk about the woman who has conquered everything that was meant to destroy her and that's how the song came to life," she told Sowetan's sister publication TshisaLIVE.
"The song is not just about my personal war, it's about the wars that we - as individuals and as people - are facing on a daily basis. If you look at where we are right now, there are so many battles that we are faced with. From Covid-19 to GBV to racism, and the list goes on and on and on."
Khumalo said each time she released a new song, she realised once again just how much love she gets from people. A refreshing reminder, she said, because on any odd day it can seem like the world is against her, especially on social media.
"It is crazy for me sometimes, the amount of love I get; having such a positive reaction from people always warms my heart and it truly validates me as an artist. If my life is anything to go by, I think I am blessed. What I've learnt is that people fall in love with authenticity.
"For me, no matter what life throws at me, people continue to support me. I think I have also mastered the rare skill of making lemon juice when lemons are thrown at me. I never see negatives, instead I always make things work for my good," Khumalo said.
No matter how most people feel about Khumalo, there's only a few people willing to deny the fact that her vocal prowess remains unmatched and the songstress keeps proving she deserves the "Vocal Highness" nickname Mzansi has given her.
Empini, Khumalo's latest single which translates to "at war", sees Kelly talk about some of the battles she's had to fight, but the songstress explained that the song isn't actually about her.
Khumalo explained that she realised a long time ago that her songs belong to the people that listen to them and since then, she's been singing with the hope to uplift, inspire or help people who might be in situations described in her music.
"I've learnt that it's not always about me. As much as I'd wanna talk about me and my life and battles, as an artist and as a person respecting my calling, I get more out of a song when I talk about things that other people can relate to. It makes better sense to me to have a broad message in my songs that people can relate to."