News Brief
Photo by Angus Mackinnon.

Nonku Phiri’s Latest Song is About ‘Embracing Vulnerability in a Time of Great Loss’

Listen to Nonku Phiri's new single "Sîfó," an ode to grief.

South African singer Nonku Phiri has been quiet for a minute. To break the hiatus, the artist recently released a new single titled "Sîfó."


You never know what to expect from the Joburg-based singer, as she's an anomaly. On the new single, she's still singing over electronic production effortlessly.

"Sîfó" was written and produced by Nonku and alongside her production partner Dion Monti, who also plays an integral role in her live performances.

What gave me goosebumps on first listen was how she stacked her vocals when she harmonized to make them sound like synthesizers, thus using her voice as an instrument which blends with the beat.

Nonku had this to say about the song:

"'Sîfó' is an ode to grief. The track encourages a discourse surrounding the necessity of embracing our vulnerability in a time of great loss and the importance of acknowledging the habitual defeats of not living with intention."

Listen to "Sîfó" below:

Follow Nonku Phiri on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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