Una Rams pays homage to Prince
One of the artist’s highlights is working with legendary DJ Black Coffee
Una Rams’s latest offering pays homage to late icon Prince having previously dazzled listeners with his alter ego Sam Sonic on his last release Hold Me When it’s Cold: The Mixtape.
Born Unarine Rambani, the genre-fluid producer, who particularly enjoys composing R&B, is fast becoming a household name. The 27-year-old musician has even received Apple Music’s stamp of approval as the latest local recipient of the Up Next campaign, which uplifts the most promising emerging artists in different regions.
Hailing from Makwarela, in Limpopo’s Vhembe district, his greatest career highlight has been his high-profile collaboration with international acclaimed DJ Black Coffee on the song Flava from the Grammy-winning album Subconsciously.
“One of the biggest lessons so far in my career is to never think it’s crazy to have a dream,” Una Rams said.
“Some of the things that I’ve written down and noted have happened exactly how I expected them to, giving me hope for the future.
“Even having Black Coffee call me and ask that I join him for a Tiny Desk [a video series of live concerts hosted by NPR Music] performance that’s now sitting on close to a million views was mind-blowing. I was still staying in Pretoria at the time he reached out... it was actually in the evening when I received his call. I couldn't believe that an artist of his calibre wanted me to perform with him.”
Una Rams other hits include No Stress with DJ Speedsta. His work has made its way to talented producers like Muzi and pH Raw X, among other musicians in the country.
“Twenty-twenty-one was my year of many wonderful achievements but last year I focused more on working on myself as I wanted to unearth my true self. Things also got rocky in my personal life... hence the music I’ve been doing relays most of my vulnerable feelings,” Rams said.
“However, this year has been the year of action where I see myself trying new things... if it’s worth a shot, I try it and if I fail, at least I would’ve learnt from experience. But if I succeed, then there is more to explore and not be afraid of anything.”
As an R&B artist, Una Rams concurred that in SA the genre is not urgent, but his focus has always been to change that.
“One thing about the South African audience is they stick to what they know and love – so I’ve realised that some grace and patience needs to suffice but I am aware that us [R&B] artists are usually trailblazers in the global music industry,” he said.
Una Rams is ready for that global takeover with his Y2K-inspired mixtape Hold Me When it’s Cold: Cuddle Pack dropping later this year, featuring guest appearances by Shekhinah, Musa Keys and DaCapo.
“I have this thing where I create characters for each project I release – to me each project is like a movie. So, the character for my current offering is titled Prince... I will definitely take song inspiration from the legend himself, you can tell with the colour purple that my team and I are pushing heavily,” he said.
“This is the same thing I did on my previous offering where I channelled Sam Sonic, I am overly dedicated to the character to the point where I grew an Afro. I went and got a nose ring because Prince had one.
“We have become a cultural hub where everyone is learning our lingo, food, fashion, dances and music – I am intentionally positioning myself to be what the global market needs in a performer... I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
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