Lira takes centre stage at Womandla

Image: Supplied

As it should be expected, Lira has been working hard this year, touring the country and pursuing her career in the US. She is also expected to release her long awaited seventh studio album sometime this year.

We caught up with her to hear more about her musical journey and her thoughts about performing at the DSTV delicious festival.

You toured the US and Europe these past few years, before coming back to South Africa. How has that experience made you a better artist?

There is an exceptionally high level of performance execution out there in the world, I come across very passionate, detailed and educated engineers and stage builders – it breeds an energy of excellence for everyone working on shows. I also love the way the audiences attend events in large numbers, they come to a show out of curiosity and so you need to make a good impression in order to grow the fan base. It just makes me want to be better as an artist. I've worked with a Swedish Funk band, as well as played with the Bochum Orchestra in a stunning concert house, and even these collaborations have been incredibly inspiring and challenging in a positive way. I have also worked with US based producers, songwriters and vocal producers which have been the most challenging. I have learnt so much and exposed myself to new and more expanded circles in the music industry.

Image: Instagram

Name one performance during the tour that left you stunned? What happened?

Perhaps my performance with the Bochum Philharmonic orchestra and Nils Landgren, a renowned trombone player. My music was arranged and orchestrated by an Italian composer named Mendoza. I have yet to hear my music sound so incredible, they somehow managed to transport me into a musical universe, the music seemed to envelope me, there were elements beneath me, behind me, above me and ahead of me – The audience loved it just as much, we sold out all our CD stock that night! It was simply magical!

Which song do you absolutely love performing no matter where you are? Why is this?

“Ixesha” is a great song as it is the most fascinating for foreigners. They become enthralled by it and they can’t help but move their bodies to the beat.

How are South African audiences different from US or Europeans audiences?

I'm well known in South African and my audiences know the music and they love to sing along, Europeans love to sit quietly and listen, they are largely caucasian. I have to prompt and guide them when it’s time to let loose and dance. Americans also listen attentively but they easily dance and respond to the music, they shout out complements while you're performing, it’s really great. My audience there tend to be African American, Caribbean as well as African.

What do you love about performing in South Africa?

My audiences are very wide, from age to race – everyone comes to the shows... I love that! My audiences here tend to be a lovely representation of South Africa, very diverse.

Image: Walt Disney / Dominic Barnardt

You are yet again performing at the DSTV Delicious Festival. What makes this festival unique?

There is always a great line up and the festival attracts a lovely mix of people, a particular quality of people. The food of course makes it a wonderful life style event.

What do you think will be the experience of headlining the Womandla Stage with Simphiwe Dana, while honouring the late Mama Winnie?

The highlight is that Simphiwe, Amanda and I will be seen on one stage – this is rare and we intend to make a memorable experience of it.

Will you be performing any new songs from your 7th studio album on the day?

Ha ha ha! Not yet, I'm going to give the people what they want- they love to sing along!

And when are you releasing the album? Can you give us an exact date or maybe the month? What about the title?

I'm afraid not yet.

You have achieved many milestones in your career. What dreams are you still chasing?

I'm chasing a successful career in the USA currently.


The festival will take place on 22 & 23 September at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit

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