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Simphiwe Dana

A highly creative composer and singer, Simphiwe is a South African from Transkei. She grew up in a rural area and singing was an integral part of that life. At college she studied IT then graphic design and now uses those skills in composing music as she likens harmonies to colours. After her studies Simphiwe started performing at poetry sessions and it was one of those that she was noticed by South African record-label Gallo Records and was soon signed up to them.
Simphiwe has her own studio, recording her songs acapella with voice for all the parts that will later be played by guitar, drums, keyboards etc., then the instrumentation is added later.
A very positive person, Simphiwe sings mostly in Xhosa believing that this will go some way to preserve the language.
Simphiwe's music can be called afro-soul, afro-pop, soul-jazz: it is all of those and much more. She lists Salif Keita, Miriam Makeba, Dorothy Masuka amongst the many artists whose music influences her.
Simphiwe's first album Zandisile was released in 2004. The title track was written for her daughter and the whole album speaks to the individual African. She won 2 South African Music Awards for her hit single 'Ndiredi' which is on Zandisile. Next came her second CD in 2006, The One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street and it addresses Africans en masse. Simphiwe's third CD (2010) is Kulture Noir on which several of the 12 tracks are produced by Moriera Chonguica. The printed notes supplied with all her CDs are beautifully and carefully