10 Questions with South African Singer-Songwriter, Liyanna B
It’s Woman Crush Wednesday and this week South African Singer and Songwriter, Liyanna B is our Top Pick for for the all-new ‘10 Questions with’ interview series. That being said, we had brief chat with Liyanna about her experience with songwriting, growing up in a multicultural household, and her most recent collaborative project, tilted “Ubomi”, among other tings. You can checkout the whole interview below:
+ Can you please tell us about your journey & how you began with music?
Well, Liyanna B is a first born in a family of 3 raised in a very religious family. Grandfather a pastor to an Adventist church and my beloved late grandmother an English teacher and with my mom being a single parent, they were a very important part of my upbringing. We loved singing as a family in general. I used to listen to my aunts sing and I knew that one day I would love to share my talent with the world.
I used to sing with my late younger sister, Lumkile, at church & school concerts and at some point at the age of 10 we even worked on an album, we organised ourselves a studio. We were forbidden by my mother to go to this studio as she was concerned about our safety as the studio guy was unknown to her, my late sister & I would sneak out to go to the studio and I felt at home behind the mic.
+ Is there an interesting story behind your name?
Well going to the day I was born: my mum tells me that, after a 24-hour labour, in the summer heat, as I was being born, it started to pour outside so hard with thunder and lightning and as I entered the world the rain stopped.
Which was about a 15 minute rain, hence the name Liyanna & in my father’s language, Siswati, Lomvula but then growing up with my mother’s Xhosa family therefore Liyanna & that is how Liyanna B was born.
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+ What does house music mean, to you?
Growing in a multicultural family ,which my grandmother used to refer to as the UN (United Nations), as some of the grandchildren are mixed race – some are Portuguese, some are Greek, some are Chinese, some are Swazi, some are Zulu & some Xhosa. But what we all had in common was the family song which was ” lamaqaba akhetha amagqira aqeqeshiwe ezinqondweni”.
This song was the pride of our heritage as Africans and had been a song our aunts and uncles used to sing when the family was in exile, therefore we were connected to this song which had been passed from generation to generation and that is what music means to me.
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It is a melody that speaks without lyrics, and it is lyrics that linger generation to generation and it is my African Pride with the beautiful heritage left by our forefathers for us to preserve and that is what makes me wanna tell my story through lyrics and beautiful melody.
+ Any thoughts on the current state of local music in a digital age?
Local music has definitely been more accessible on a international platform namely from my experience, my single was released in the U.K. On the day that it came out in South African & has since then been available to the European market & East African market. It creates a different kind of experience for the listener on the other end of the speaker.
+ Did you have any bitter experiences with not being taken seriously, as a female recording artist? If yes, can you please share at least one?
I have been blessed because so far every door that I have knocked on has responded positively to me as a vocalist & songwriter & I have encountered people in this journey that have been instrumental in motivating & understanding my passion for music.
+ Can you briefly paint a picture of the preparation method for your recording sessions?
The beat to the song spoke to me from the beginning. The lyrics just came naturally without even writing them. This song was exactly how it was when Cinderella was fitted with the shoe that had been tried on by so many but when it got to her feet it was a perfect match. Therefore ‘Ubomi’ & the beat were just a perfect fit.
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+ Let’s talk social media and the interweb. How has social networking benefited your brand?
Having been known as a model & socialite on all social media platforms, and already having a following, has actually worked better for me. It has actually made it easier for me to market my song & build Liyanna B – which is only going to grow from strength to strength.
+ What inspires you on a daily basis?
The fact that I am a first born, and bread winner in my family, inspires me to be great in anything and everything that I do. [It] pushes me to ensure that I build a sustainable & progressive Liyanna B brand for my siblings.
+ What can we expect from you in the near future?
I am hoping to write more songs for various artists and I am currently working on another Single.
My first album which I will be recording in the U.K where I am currently based & South Africa where I will be promoting ‘Ubomi’ to my European based market as this song has a message and melody that speaks not only to South Africans but to every person whose ever been inlove so I am hoping to sing for my supporters who were part of my Live Launch on Deeplomatik Radio which is based in London.
+ Any advice for aspiring recording artists?
Take pride in your craft do not compromise or copy be an individual and work with people who embrace you as an individual, if they do not embrace you simply move along. The shoe will eventually fit,it did for me.
You can listen to Liyanna B‘s most recent collaborative music project, entilted “Ubomi”, with Portia Luma and Bee Deejay, below.: