Refiloe "Relo" Makhubo made a never to be forgotten entrance into the music industry as the only woman in a Hip Hop group of 7 men and drove Mzansi crazy with her melodic voice.
ZAlebs had the pleasure of interviewing the singer who has since gotten married with two beautiful children and a music career that is forever flourishing.
You have been keeping a low profile for a while now, what have you been up to?
I felt I needed a break after the good 10 years I spent with Skwatta Kamp. It was a crazy couple of years. I couldn't date, I couldn't even spend some quality time with family. I took a break just to get some personal space, just to get a peace of mind.
I needed Refiloe Tsotetsi back. I needed to be Refiloe instead of Relo, the first lady of Skwatta Kamp. I'm a mother, I'm a wife, I'm a best friend; I needed to take some time off for this. I'm a singer, not a celebrity; I don't get paid to attend events, I get paid to sing if there are no singing gigs I would rather stay home. After I met my husband, it was three years later, I was still singing, I felt pregnant. Even though I took a break, Skwatta music was still being played, my Gift of Life album was still being played.
My husband (Rocky Makhubo) and I have just launched a new convenient store in partnership with Caltex and Fruit and Veg.
Your voice is one of the most amazing voices in the music industry, but sadly you haven't blessed us with your gift of singing since your 2009 album, Gift Of Life. When are you going back to the studio?
This amazing voice has a 13 track album sitting in the studio. I went into depression when I lost my sister, it was a shock, something that I was not ready for. The only therapeutic thing for me was to get back to doing what I love. I went back to studio October 2013. I did this amazing album, close to my heart I called it The Embodiment Of Love. My sister's name was Lerato. I embodied her personality, I embodied her love, I embodied her energy. For me to stand on stage and promote my album was hard. I always tell myself that my music is mine until I'm ready to share it with the world. I do have an album, I'm just not ready to release it.
I have also been working with Kent for the past two months. He has been pushing me to come to studio and work with him. In terms of features I'm not too comfortable with featuring people, sometimes energies in the studio show if you are meant to be working together; and I find that with Kent it gels, everything that we create together it gels. I love working with him, I don't have to try hard. I don't see myself working with anybody else, unless Dr Dre kinda hooks me up and be like yo 'Relo I',m trying to cook up something, how about you come and see me.' (laughs).
I don't want to be famous, I just want to sing, get on stage and just sing. I have got a very niche support for my personal music besides Skwatta Kamp. If you have listened to my first album Gift Of LIfe you will understand why I don't have to release an album every year, especially in South Africa where you are saturated with a whole lot of 'something' music (laughs) it's not as real as we want it to be, but that's what sells. The people that really know how to sing are not as big and famous as those that can't really sing.
You look absolutely amazing, your Instagram is flooding with pictures of your great new body. What inspired you to lose weight?
I didn't want to speak about my weight loss because that has been a personal journey for me ever since I got my second child. In 2013 I gave birth to my second child, and I weighed 105 kg. It was a personal decision that I want to live for my kids, I have lost about 30 kg. It's not about being sexy, it's just about being alive.
On my Instagram, I'm just showing everyone else that they can do it. There is no medicine or pill that can do it for you. It becomes an obsession, it becomes love, it becomes hate sometimes, I loved the fact I could get to a point where I'm happy. I look the way I look because I wanted to look like this, not because other people wanted me to look like this. I was a plus size and I was happy with that, but as you grow you realize that it is going to be harder to lose weight after a baby, but I did it, I wish I had done it sooner though."
I'm a good-looking 33-year-old. I did it in three years, some do it in a year. I still get cravings, but at least I don't finish a slab of chocolate anymore. It is hard, but it is so worth it. When you get praises from Mr Makhubo what can you want? My husband always says it is because I wanted to do it and I will always love him for that.
Look out for the second part of our interview with Relo tomorrow (8 November 2016)
Image Credit: Instagram/MrsRelo