Mmatema not giving up on music dream
There is an unmistakable poise to Mmatema Moremi. She carries herself with a regal flair, in person and on the screen. Yet when she speaks, she is frank and open, almost like a friend you have not seen for a while as she discusses her ascendance in the South African music industry.
Moremi came into the limelight after lucking out as runner up on the eleventh season of SA Idols. Shortly after, she signed a recording deal with Universal Music.
Determined to pursue a gospel career, she started her own company, Mmatema Moremi Media Productions. This did not derail her from her passion for music as she continued to perform.
"I've managed to get myself into gigs around the world. I've toured in the UK, USA and Swaziland."
In 2016 she headlined her own one-woman show at the South African State Theatre, an unprecedented achievement that no other SA Idols contestant has accomplished. "My fans have really supported me. Even at my last performance on Valentine's Day, they showed up," she shares emphatically.
This Easter the 26 year old will release her first studio album, Love. Praise. Worship. Her busy career took a backseat prior to the making of the album as she struggled to find a definitive sound to fit the album. "I had to find myself. I had to find my sound and what my purpose would be in my music," she said.
Part of finding a definitive sound for her music included working with the likes of DJ Tira and Benjamin Dube in the build up to Love. Praise. Worship, although many did not expected her to venture into gospel. "I received mixed reactions. People did not expect me to do gospel especially after I performed songs like Whitney's I Will Always Love You," Moremi shares.
She is giddy when she mentions the support of her family and team, a key factor in Moremi's survival in the industry. She also advises that new artists shouldn't carry the burden of their careers alone. "If there is one thing I know, it is that you should have a team. Don't do it alone. I made sure I have someone for admin, someone for PR and someone for the accounts," she says.
Sharing her own faith, Moremi encouraged that her longevity was also determined by her faith in God and hard work. "You have to practice. You need to practice like you're going live right now. You need to enter competitions like Idols. Go get your name out there," she advises, adding that new artists often waste time trying to get acclaim through local radio stations.
Love. Praise. Worship is available on iTunes and Play Store, her new album will be released in during the Easter Weekend.
5 Things To Know About Mmatema Moremi
· At 10, she once jumped on stage with a band that was already performing, forcing them to play for her
· In 2014 she composed a song for the #BringBackOurGirls campaign sung by the Tshwane Gospel Choir
· She has done jingles for SABC 3's The Stage is Yours and SABC 1's Mzansi Fo' Sho
· She will retun as Thembi Molala in the second season of SABC 2 drama series Bone of my Bones
· Her next album is set for release during Easter weekend