Lulu Dikana has been nominated three times for the 2013 Metro FM Awards for her latest album â€œThis Is The Lifeâ€, Lulu Dikana is finally getting the recognition she deserves.Her three nominations are; Best Female Artist category, Best Produced Album category and the Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Parable Magazine chats with her to find out who Lulu Dikana is and what makes her the star that she is.
Please give us a bit of your background? (Where you grew up)
Answer: I grew up in PE, in an area called Kwazakhele and then later moved to Swartkops-Valley, a suburb. My mom was Medical Technologist and former beauty queen, my dad was the well-known musician Vuyisile Dikana affectionately known by his peers as â€˜Vivaâ€™. I grew up with my three sisters: Mvula, Zonke and Asanda and then later Naledi. My dad was always away because of his music and my mom was a career woman so like most kids in the township we were brought up mostly by our loving grandmother â€˜Manciâ€™
Where does the love of music come from?
Answer: I come from a musical family, my dad was an incredible vocalist and guitarist but he was known and loved for his drumming. My step mother was Anneline Malebo from the 80â€™s all-girl group â€˜JOY,â€™ popular for their classic song â€˜Paradise Roadâ€™. Also, my sister is the amazing Zonke. Though all of us can sing and write music only Zonke and I followed after my dadâ€™s footsteps. We got the music from my dad but the song writing comes from my mom (biological mom) who apart from being a career woman was an awesome writer and fine artist.
Being from a musical family, do you feel the pressure of disappointing them?
Answer: No, Never!
Tell us about your first performance
Answer: I performed in front of an audience with a band for the first time really, in church when I was 15 years old. My first performance however, as a recording artist was at Bassline; At the Edgars Music Series, the day before the release of my first album â€“ â€˜My diary, My thoughtsâ€™.
It was very intimidating I must say – I was opening for some of the big names in the industry, like Zonke, Lira etc. I felt I had not had enough time to rehearse with my new band, but my biggest concern was my voice which by now was completely gone because I was stressing so much. I called a friend and fellow sister in the Lord and shared this with her. She really empathised with me but there was nothing she could do really â€“ or so she thought, but God had another plan. A few seconds after our conversation I got an sms from her, it just read â€œread Psalm 29 and meditate on itâ€. Boy!!! I received that word as my rhema word from God, I had a bible on my phone so right from where I was, I started ferociously reading and eating up the Psalm, then I said it under my breath, it was not too long before I started pacing the floor saying the scripture louder now. The long and the short of it, I got filled with so much peace and boldness, that I walked out on that stage and gave a performance to remember!! Glory to God!!!
If you were not a singer what will you be doing?
Answer: Acting/Musical theatre or went ahead and became a lawyer (I studied law at Fort Hare University)
Share your own challenges in the music industry
Answer: Soooo many! I think the biggest challenge is being so talented, but because you are not a known brand people just refuse to give you the time of day. This I believe is the experience of all musicians when they are starting out. And, just the fact that you soon realise that just because you got signed does not mean youâ€™re made! No one is going to put together a band for you, or take you on a shopping spree so you look like the star that you know you are. There are as many challenges as the artists themselves really but they have only made me stronger.
How do you feel about the Metro Awards nominations?
Answer: Oh Lord!! Overjoyed!!! I was screaming like a mad woman! When I finally calmed down I went on to tell anyone who cared to listen â€œIâ€™m nominated for a whooping three Metro FM Music awards!!!!â€ I cannot even begin to tell you how blessed I feel right now. I know that the favour of God has indeed overshadowed me, itâ€™s my set time.
Do you think the South African audience appreciate the local artists more than overseas?
Answer: I donâ€™t know about thatâ€¦but I know that more and more South African musicians have started coming out of their shells and being bold about who they are and what they can do – the South African audience cannot but pay attention.
Who is your idol in the music industry?
Answer: I donâ€™t have an â€˜idolâ€™ per say, but the whole new generation of singers in my country just inspire me so much. Itâ€™s exciting to be a musician in South Africa right now and I have done my bit in bringing revolution so to speak, in the world of gospel music.
What would you change in the music industry if you were given that power?
Answer: Oh man! Thereâ€™s a lot I want to changed but, I have made up my mind that I will be the change I want to see. I write music that uplifts and hopefully brings about change, lasting and permanent change that comes only by the WORD of God. In a nut shell, I think Iâ€™d actually ensure that all song writers are a little more responsible with the lyrical content.
As this is a Christian magazine please tell us a bit about your spiritual life?
Answer: I am a born again Christian! Not ashamed of the gospel of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in whom I live, move and have my being. Iâ€™m a tongue talking, gospel preaching child of God whose purpose is to see to it that this gospel moves through whatever means necessary, Iâ€™m doing my part through music.
Anything you would like us to know about you?
Answer: I am very passionate about teaching; I hope Iâ€™ll get a chance to teach someday, not sure how or where, God orders my steps.
Interview by: Thulile Gama