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
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
Already an award winner: Simphiwe won 4 categories in the South
African Music Awards in 2005. Then in 2008 she was one of the
4 nominees for the Africa award in the BBC Radio 3 Awards for
On stage Simphiwe sounds and looks stunning - she wears stikingly
beautiful outfits and she makes her own hats by hand. Her first
London performance was at the ICA. She and her band played at
the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2008 (her pianist was Patrick Bebey,
son of Francis Bebey). In June 2008 Simphiwe joined others in
a tribute to James Brown arranged by Pee Wee Ellis at the Barbican.
World-wide, Simphiwe is on the road to achieve a whole lot more.