From backing vocalist to solo project, Dimbaza-born Naledi Nyembezi-Soga has come a long way in the music industry.
The singer has released her debut album, Buyel’ekhaya, a traditional jazz and pop offering that speaks of social ills, joy and sorrow.
Going by the stage name Naledi Brown, the singer’s love for music started in her childhood, when she used to entertain her family during gatherings.
In 1994, she was part of a cultural group in Mdantsane which performed dances such as Sarafina.
Her professional music journey started off when she joined Koko Godlo’s label as a backing vocalist in 1999.
After joining Godlo’s label, she dreamt of one day releasing her solo album, and it has taken her more than 15 years to do that.
“The reason why it has taken so long is because music had to take a backseat while I pursued my tertiary studies,” she said.
Soga did an honours degree in communications at the University of Fort Hare, and while studying, worked for Forte FM as a producer and presenter.
She is currently doing her LLB degree with Unisa and is also working for the Office of the Chief Justice, Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
Between her work hours and studies, she still manages to find the time to do what she loves.
Like many new artists, Soga said she had experienced many challenges along the way.
“It is not easy to penetrate the industry due to the limitation of resources, in terms of exposure to the people who are the main roleplayers in the industry.
“I am overcoming the challenges through relationships that I am building with people who have the experience on how things are done, like my management at FG productions who have been hands-on,” she said.
Moving to Pretoria had also worked to her advantage.
“I’m able to access a lot of resources like making face-to- face contact with different media houses without having to spend a lot of money on travelling.
“I’ve also met a lot of experienced people who have made my journey a bit easier.”
Her debut album saw her working with Eastern Cape music producers’ Mlungisi Mouberg Mgqobele, Vusumzi Batala, Simpiwe Peter and Khehla Nkosi.
Her album is available at all digital stores and Music Mix and Musica stores nationwide. — firstname.lastname@example.org