Simphiwe Dana signs with Universal Music

Simphiwe Dana is the latest artist to sign with Universal Music Group South Africa. 

The announcement was made today in the presence of Sipho Dlamini- the managing director of UMG SA.

Simphiwe Dana speaks on this move:

How has the journey treated you from releasing your first album and what has it taught you?

I must say it has been an interesting journey with its ups and downs. It is almost 5 years since I last recorded an album and this is the longest I have stayed without releasing an album. I have learned that a lot of artists need to learn that you are as good as your last single. It’s not about how flashy you are dressed but the quality of work you produce. You could be here today and simply gone tomorrow.

What motivated you to join Universal?

When my first record label went under, all the young artists (including myself) were released from our contracts. The label felt like family to me so naturally after my contract was over, it left me feeling like an orphan with no family. We as artists didn’t have any faith in record labels and when I moved onto the next label with a licensing deal, only then with the joint-venture did I experience what it was like making an artist. Coming to Universal only seemed natural for me because they are the biggest record label in South Africa.

How has writing treated you?

I had to step back and re-evaluate who I was an artist. I had to forget about the fame, the supposed glitz and glamour, the accolades and go back to a place where I was just a normal human trying to make it in the industry. When I started writing I had a lot of self-doubt thinking do I still have it? I mean everyone can write but only a few have that special thing which connects to people. This past December I was in isolation; you could say I was dealing with my demons but I needed the time to remember me. When I wrote ‘Ndiredi’ I was a nobody and I was hungry for this life and since releasing ‘Zandisile’ I always attack every project like that hungry artist trying to make it.

Will fans expect the classic Simphiwe Dana or could they expect a change of style?

“I have no idea” as she chuckles. I haven’t recorded anything but what I can say is that everyone who listens to my music will find something that will touch them.

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