Sha Sha, the voice behind some of the most popular amapiano songs, chats to us about her career and new EP, Blossom. By Kwanele Mathebula
I am from Mutare in Zimbabwe. I moved around a lot as a child because my parents separated after I was born. I stayed with my grandmother at one point, and with my aunts at another. While living with my grandmother, I joined a choir and my journey with music began. I discovered that I could sing and started taking piano lessons for a while. Although I knew I could sing, I didn’t take it seriously until my friends took my music to one of Zimbabwe’s biggest radio stations. It was well-received and this made me happy. I then met renowned producer Audius Mtawarira who became my mentor and helped me improve my craft.
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My career started taking off in 2017. Audius and I were looking to break outside of Zimbabwe, so we partnered with Brian Soko who helped us connect with South African producers. We then travelled to SA where I worked with a few producers and rappers, such as Priddy Ugly and Rouge, who featured me on their albums. During this time, I also met DJ Maphorisa through my cab driver. I played him one of my ballads, and he liked it. So, we started working together. Through him, I was able to collaborate with Mlindo the Vocalist on Nge Thanda Wena and jazz legend Don Laka. From this point, my careers started to pick up.
Having the right team has been a blessing. I’ve always had the right people around me. We have the same vision and work well together. This has made it easy for me to pursue my career. The only challenge I experienced was breaking into the South African music scene. Even though people knew my voice and music, they didn’t know me. I’ve been working on changing that. Luckily, my team encouraged me to work hard, remain humble and be patient. That is now paying off.
My EP has been six years in the making. I’ve been recording for a long time, but first wanted a solid foundation and to sign the right deal. Blossom is the result of a lot of blood, sweat and tears. It is a chance for people to get to know and finally see me. Even though it took over a year to drop, it came together really well. When I finally decided to put it together, I recorded it at DJ Maphorisa’s studio where I met Kabza De Small and Samthing Soweto. They are both featured. Blossom comes from a warm place of love.
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Performing at Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) is one of my biggest career highlights. HIFA is one of the biggest events in Harare where international artists come out to perform. I performed on the main stage for an hour with a whole band and DJ. It was a huge moment for me. I also shared the stage with the late Oliver Mtukudzi, which was unbelievable because I grew up listening to him.