Cutting Cake with Moonchild Sanelly
The moon is an intriguing body. Its shape evolves throughout the month, its gravity pulls on our waters, and it shines the light that stirs love and romance. It’s captivating, and on some nights, has a slightly spooky edge. The same, and more, could be said about Moonchild Sanelly.
Despite being told by Idols judges Randall Abrahams and Mara Louw that she wasn’t anything special, Moonchild Sanelly has waxed into a ghetto funk artist bristling with life and authenticity.
Her enigmatic sound is the result of a lifelong self-education in Hip Hop, Kwaito, Jazz, Funk and Dance music. A graduate of the ‘University of Authenticity’, as many call the Durban music scene, her music possesses a soulful individuality that speaks of the drumming circles and spoken poetry performances that marked her time there.
Moonchild is uninterested in packaging herself into a ‘marketable’ product, as prescribed by any number of industry experts. And her current success as an independent, unsigned artist has shown that this is in fact not necessary.
“I don’t want anyone to put a weave on me, and I don’t need to make an English track to gain acceptance from my audience,” she says.
For now, both Moonchild and her current PR representatives are very excited about her prospects for collaboration as an independent artist.
“There are so many people that I would love to work with and I now have the choice to reach out to them. Record labels often gag creative collaboration based on the argument that the collaboration ‘doesn’t make sense’ or ‘isn’t right’,” she explains.
“How can that be true if I am inspired by someone and I believe that we could create something cool together?”
The choice to remain true to herself as an artist, and to not as a brand, has resulted in a diverse body of work that resonates with a wide audience.
The truly remarkable quality of Moonchild Sanelly is the fact that she proudly and authentically lives the new, vibrant and relevant African aesthetic. This new aesthetic recognises what has come before, and is an afropunk movement rich in cultural innovation.
She’s therefore part of the Renaissance that’s redefining what African looks, sounds and feels like.
“When I was studying fashion design, I refused to use traditional prints. I don’t have to do that, or any other obvious thing to be African. Anything that stems from me is naturally African. I don’t need to return to the past to claim my identity. I’d rather evolve from it into an original direction,” says Moonchild.
“This is something that respected musicians like Hugh Masekela and Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse also understand and encourage among the young musicians with whom they work. No one I met whilst touring in Europe was confused about the fact that I was African.”
Most importantly, however, is the fact that her music, infused with her personality, is so damn invigorating. “I want people to feel that they’re bouncing around in a superhero game when they’re listening to my music. I speak about emotional things, but in a happy and empowered way. We’re not sulking or lamenting life. I am ok. And I’m telling you that you’re gonna be ok, too.”
You can connect with Moonchild Sanelly on:
Facebook: Moonchild Sanelly
iTunes: Moonchild Sanelly