Interview
Photo: Segraphy.

Interview: For Gaidaa, This Was Meant to Be

We talk to the rising Sudanese-Dutch singer about her process, family expectations, and her standout COLORS performance.

Although Gaidaa's father was once a musician, he didn't want her to do music, and her mother was also on board with this. Typical of African parents, their refusal came from a place of protection and concern for her future. They were hoping she would go to school, get a good education and establish herself in a steady and safe career. And so, for a long time, they paid little attention to Gaidaa's interest in music. But once, when Redbull came to shoot at their house in November of last year, the weight of her looming career started to dawn on them, as well as her perseverance and the support they saw around her.

Gaidaa has always been called to music. The Sudanese-Dutch singer's sound has a free, unfettered structure, less of a structure even, and more of an insistence on honesty and catharsis. She started at her craft professionally in 2018 and after the single she released then titled "A Storm On A Summer's Day" did way better than she expected, she became even more convinced that music was something she could seriously dedicate her time to. And between faking going to school (which she eventually dropped out of last year), going for recording sessions, and getting her family mad at her for that, she was able to create her 2020 debut EP Overture. The album sees her gliding through different forms of emotions, through a meld of genres that oscillates between soul and R&B. We can hear Gaidaa coming to terms with desire, and most importantly, delivering her thoughts in the most honest and unassuming ways possible.

We spoke with Gaidaa about her relationship with music, her journey to finding a balance between her work and family expectations, her COLORS performance last year, and why you will likely find her at a train station, which, unsurprisingly, is where she is while we speak over Zoom.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.