Azana describes her debut Album ‘Ingoma’

Azana Interview about her new Album ‘Ingoma’

Azana, the KwaZulu Natal-born singer, signed under Bigcitydreams Records has just released her highly anticipated debut album titled “Ingoma.” The album was released last Friday 17th July, and it came packed with 14 incredible songs and features by Disciples of House, Afriikan Papi and El-World artists such as Sun-EL Musician, Sino Msolo, Mthunzi, Claudio x Kenza, and S-Tone.

On her debut album Ingoma, Azana effortlessly bestrides between Afro House, Pop, and Soul Music to create romantic and spiritual sounds. Using a richly textured voice, lyrics and poetic outlook to present the songs. The singer reflects love, spirituality and the essence of home in ‘Ingoma.’

The title pays devotion to capturing the emotions of the stories she crafts. In a recent interview, Azana explained the meaning of the title of her debut album:

“Ingoma means a song and a song can mean so much to you in so many ways.”

“A song is a lover, a healer or a fantasy. I’m asking people to gather around and listen to my song. I hope this brings people together and gives them closure. I hope it heals.”

In an interview with Apple Music South Africa, Azana went further into explaining and detailing every single song on the album. Here is a brief description of every track according to the singer.

Okhokho

“‘Okhokho’ means ancestors or the ones who have passed on and look after us in spirit. I got really sick last year and when we went to the hospital they didn’t find anything wrong with me, so it was really confusing. My father then suggested we consult a traditional healer. At that time I really loved the Zulu culture but I didn’t feel like I was very connected to it. After I actually consulted a traditional healer I felt more connected to my ancestors and felt like, ‘Wow, there are beings watching over me.’ I know that they’re looking after me and they are making sure that my path is clear. They’re always trying to bring out the best in me. This song is about my brother who passed on in 2012. I’m just asking him to help me in my journey and also please tell the other ancestors that I’m asking for good luck. I’m acknowledging him the most here on this song because I was very close to him. Whenever you meet with family, you start by praying and bringing in good spirits and energy. This song is that for my album…bring them all together in good energy and listen to my album.”

Uthando Lwangempela

“I wrote this in my room in Bloemfontein. It means a lot to me because I was in a very low space at that time. I didn’t even know if I’d record it; it was just a song that came to me. I wrote and recorded it on my phone and once I got the opportunity to record it with Mthunzi he made it just the way I wanted it. We kept doing it bit by bit, adding music till it felt right. Though it’s about true love, when I wrote the song it was more of a fantasy. I was asking some of my friends what true love was. Do people fall in love and actually wake up at night, getting a thrill ’cause they just feel in love?”

Egoli

“It’s just the beginning [of my journey] and hopefully there’s so much more. Of course, it’s about chasing your dreams, but the song reminds me of my brother. One day he told me, ‘Dude I just wanna go to Joburg. I wanna get a job and make money.’ So I wrote this and I’m actually him in the song. It’s for the both of us—it’s for me and my brother.”

Goodbye (feat. Afriikan Papi)

“I was really tired when I made this song so my voice was even low. I just felt like I’m doing so much and something has to be right here. It’s a positive song but at the same time it was me chasing away bad spirits—‘To bad things I say goodbye’. I feel like it’s the beat that made me feel that way because it brought that emotion out of me…it’s very spiritual.”

Askies (I’m Sorry)

“I feel like Zulu girls will get what I’m talking about the most here, because we say things that sound remorseful sometimes but we don’t really mean them. It’s like saying sorry but you’re not feeling it at all. It’s got a lot of attitude to it! It’s just saying, ‘no’ to a guy and asking, ‘Why are you calling me?’ We’ll never be in a relationship. It’s rejection but in a very hood way.”

Lovers & Best Friends (feat. Disciples of House)

“I feel so vulnerable because everyone’s asking these questions! ‘Lovers & Best Friends’ is really cute because it’s a really true story. ‘I thought that I wanted you but now I need you’ is what I sing. I feel like a lot of people go into relationships without even loving the person, so you say, ‘Let’s just see what happens’ and then this thing actually becomes a real thing. At the time I was writing it I felt like that. I wanted to make a song like DJ Bongz’ ‘Thina Sobabili’, I even tried to structure it like that. I wanted to make a song that children can listen to…that’s so repetitive it literally never leaves your mind.”

Buyela Ekhaya (feat. Sun-El Musician)

“I’d always wanted to be in Joburg doing my thing. I’d just met Sun-El Musician and we were working and I think I was gonna go home from Jozi. I’m just saying: when things go well for you always go back home, don’t go back because you don’t have anything at the moment, go back because you love them. So it’s actually a message to myself but the nice thing about music is you do it for everyone even if it’s meant for you. I was very confident when I made this song—confident that I’d listen to myself. You can even hear it in my voice. I felt like a queen.”

Ngize Ngifike (feat. Sun-El Musician)

“This is about someone who’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to someone’s heart. You can like a person and the person doesn’t really see how much you actually value them, how much love you can give them and how good you are for them. So this person is saying, ‘Well I’ll walk till I get there and show you what I can be.’”

Umaqondana (feat. Sino Msolo)

“This was really vibe and very natural. I came up with the melody and put lyrics to it. The next thing Sino is up and he’s ready to record. I was like, ‘Dude when did you even write?’ It was so natural. He’s so good at his writing that he knows how to mingle with other people’s words. He knew the direction I was going for because the lyrics I had were, ‘I’m going here and there and I still don’t find the one that’s good for me.’”

Bafazi (feat. Claudio x Kenza)

“This one’s a mixture of a whole lot of things that are happening, but mostly about women empowerment. With this song I’m saying to women, ‘Whatever you’re going through just know that you’re a queen.’ I’m saying the same thing over and over and it’s like instilling it in people.”

Ithemba (feat. Mthunzi)

“With this song, there were a lot of people around me in studio. When I was done recording Mthunzi asked if he could add something. He sang his part which sounded really nice. For him, hope means something else…he was probably thinking of his story and I was thinking of mine. The song represents a December for me: when you’re thinking of what you’ve achieved at the end of the year. It’s just reflecting and thinking there’s always things to come and there’ll always be hope.”

Ngixolele (feat. S-Tone)

“‘Ngixolele’ is a true story that’s a bit exaggerated. It’s about a person that makes you feel like they can give you so much more but they don’t, or when someone leads you on. There’s this one time I really liked a guy but then he moved to Joburg. It wasn’t badly intended but in the song I made it seem that way. ‘So now he’s leaving me for girls who are in Joburg? Like, who do you think you are? Don’t you know that love lives here?’…is my attitude.”

Your Love

“I’m having another conversation with myself here, saying, ‘And I won’t lie, yeah, love is blind.’ I came up with the lyrics because I was missing someone. ‘I can’t wait till we meet again.’ It was that vibe. The rest of the ad-libs I just freestyled, I didn’t really know what I was doing but I was just doing it. When it’s so natural it seems like it just happens but there’s always a force behind it, a thought and an experience behind it.”

Sikelela

“This is just asking for protection, to be guided or to just have a good path in whatever you’re doing—from what or whoever you believe in.”


‘Ingoma’ is Available for listen/purchase here.

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