She may have not won the 2013 edition of the Britain’s Got Talent (BGT), but Asanda Jezile is making serious strides in the music industry and is now recording her debut album.
The daughter of South African expatriates, Asanda auditioned for the series with Rihanna’s Diamonds and received rave reviews for her strong voice and powerful stage presence. Buffalo City Metro proudly claims her as its homegirl since her father is from Mdantsane.
Speaking to the Daily Dispatch while on holiday in East London yesterday, Asanda, recalled her experience on the show, saying it opened many doors for her.
“I have met so many people – celebrities that I never thought I would, and I have been getting my own gigs and performing at different places. Things really started happening for me after the show – it was an amazing experience.”
She said the pressure of balancing schoolwork and the competition prepared her for a future in music.
For 11 months she was cast in the famous kids’ musical Bugsy Malone where she played the role of Tallulah, an experience she said she would treasure forever. The husky-voiced 13-year-old, who has a strong British accent, said her mother Prudence had persuaded her to enter the competition.
“I used to watch the show every year and I wanted to go on it, but never really had the confidence. My mom encouraged me a lot.
“She’d be like ‘hey wena you can sing, you can do this,’ so eventually I was like: Okay I’ll do it, and then, boom, I’m in the finals! It was awesome,” she said.
Both Asanda’s parents are musicians, something she feels has destined her for a career in music.
Her mother is a South African gospel specialist who used to do backing vocals for Rebecca Malope and her father, Luyanda, was a singer in the original movie soundtrack of The Lion King.
Both parents are still in the music industry and run the South African Cultural Talents UK, an organisation formed by talented and professional African artists and musicians based in the UK.
“If it had happened that I couldn’t sing I would have probably ended up playing an instrument or something because I feel music is my future and is the one thing that I am really passionate about,” said Asanda.
Even though she is currently working on her debut album Asanda said education was the priority because: “I would be nothing without it.”
She said details about the album were a secret because everything had to be a surprise, but said she had written most of the songs.
“So I cannot tell you everything but I can say that it is going to be amazing and shocking.
“It’s coming together. It’s a different sound with a mixture of genres, but it’s very real and there will be something for everybody, young and old. I want to reach as wide a market as I can,” she said.
Asanda said she was also passionate about charity work and wanted to use her music to help others. — firstname.lastname@example.org