Some people might argue that R&B doesn’t need any saving as it’s already dead and buried. Pop, hip hop and EDM are all demolishing every opportunity for any other genre to reach the number 1 spot on the charts lately. As an R&B fan, I began to believe the naysayers. Maybe the genre is dead.
Overseas, some of the biggst R&B artists are making comebacks and my faith in the genre is slowly restoring, but what about South African R&B artists? Honestly, I’ve never paid much attention to R&B artists in our country purely because there’s been a lack of consistency and relevance from them. Just when we thought their career is picking up they disappear off the face of the music industry.
But then Ayanda Jiya made it onto the scene and for some reason I saw a glimpse of hope for R&B in SA. The moment I heard Go Go Girl I knew I had to get to know the lady behind this awesome track. After bagging a Metro FM nomination, I spoke to the R&B artist to hear what has been the most bizarre comments she’s heard about her single Go Go Girl.
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“A lot of people have told me that the song sounds so international and some people questioned if I was actually South African, some even asked if I was a child of exile! I thought that was really funny, but I think what makes Go Go Girl such a beautiful song is the passion and discipline that was placed into the contents of the song. My producers and I wanted the song to do very well and it did. We wanted to do something that has not been done before in South African R&B, even though some people believe that R&B no longer exists in our country, but it does.”
With so much faith in R&B I asked Ayanda why the genre had declined in popularity in the last 10 years and why she was so brave enough to bring it back instead of just singing on House tracks like most vocalists nowadays.
“I’m not quite sure but I think it also has to do with what works for certain artists I know a certain artist that actually tried R&B but their career in the genre never really lasted, so I’m not sure if it’s a lack of inconsistency on their side or is it because time was evolving and everyone was still experimenting with their craft at the time. But I wouldn’t say the genre has died in fact people miss that sound, it’s been a while since people have heard this kind of genre in our country, so I wanted to relive or rather bring the genre back but in a different angle and give it a different element and most importantly make it timeless.”
Although people are still going crazy over Go Go Girl, I’m still stuck on one of my most favourite singles from Ayanda, called Wrecking my brain, I couldn’t help but wonder if we’d be getting a video of the song from her soon.
“Well the song was on my EP but I’m not sure if it’s going to get a video. Interestingly the song has been a favourite for a lot of people and I think the reason people liked it is because I’m speaking about something everyone can relate to. When I write songs, they literally evolve around the events that happen to me or to someone that I know. So I was really overwhelmed at people's reaction to that song and I'm relieved that most people everyone enjoyed and identify with what I'm singing about in the song."
Ayanda also has a second single making its rounds titled Got My heart where she drops a rap verse too!
Do you think Ayanda and other R&B artists can save the genre in this country?