Kelly Khumalo on her new single and how she deals with tension

Songstress Kelly Khumalo is releasing a new single.
Songstress Kelly Khumalo is releasing a new single.
Image: Kelly Khumalo via Instagram

Kelly Khumalo has been hard at work producing a new album. Today, the singer released her first single off the album, Empini. 

We caught up with the songstress to find out what other projects she’s been working on, how she has been experiencing lockdown and what she’s most looking forward to post-lockdown.

Tell us about your latest single Empini. What does this song deal with and what inspired it?

The song was produced by Mondli Ngcobo and it talks about the love that survives everything that is set against it. The inspiration of it is based on what we go through in relationships.  The song basically says we will conquer whatever comes our way.

Has it been challenging to work and produce content over these past few months?

I started working on the album last year so most of the songs were done before the lockdown although I needed to do final touches, which became a challenge after the lockdown.

What other new content can we expect from you? Is this single the first of a few new things to come?

Absolutely. I recently launched a gin in the same month that we commenced the lockdown so the plan is to [officially] launch the gin once we are allowed to get out there. I also have a reality show that is coming in August. It’s still under wraps, I’m not allowed to talk about it as yet but I’ve started shooting now that the lockdown restrictions have been eased. All I can say is that it encompasses the life of Kelly Khumalo. I also have an album that will be launching in October. It’s called The Voice of Africa.

What can fans expect from your album?

I think if you compare it to my previous albums it will be totally different. I’ve worked with Mondli before but now we are working on a personal level where I’ve allowed him to be at the forefront in terms of production and sound. So that’s where we will experience a difference and a change.

Where do you draw your strength or inspiration from to continue working and producing creative work at times when you feel down?

Challenges enable me to rise even more or to want to focus on my music even more. Any soulful musician will tell you that it is easier to write about difficulties than just fun things.

How have you coped with these past few weeks of lockdown?

I’m not going to lie, the lockdown has been challenging. I’m not used to being in one place for too long. I’m used to a busy life and now I’m literally forced to focus on myself. I think the lockdown has allowed me to find time to heal on a lot of matters that I put aside.

What’s the one thing you can’t wait to do once things return to “normal”?

I can’t wait to get back on stage. I miss being on stage. I think one of the reasons why lockdown has been hard is the stage allows you to release the tension and release whatever you are going through but now we don’t’ have the liberty to do that and we are forced to feel whatever is bothering us. 

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned throughout your career

Patience. I say this because we tend to want to compete within the industry and check who’s doing what and how they’re doing it and we want to compare our lives and successes to others. We forget to be patient with ourselves and also just our journey and the process of getting the things that we work hard for.