Lucia Nombulelo Jakeni DHLA innerview pres. by Nyasha Themba Dhliwayo

23.8.18


"Stronger than yesterday"

Idols darling Lucia takes on life

By Nyasha Themba Dhliwayo


With her soul-filled voice, Lucia Nombulelo Jakeni sang her way into South African's hearts during the twelfth edition of Idols SA held in 2016.

            The usually frosty judge Randall, warmed up a few degrees, describing her in one episode as "the most sophisticated performer" as well as saying that there was a post-Idols career for the statuesque vocalist.


            Not to be left out, Somizi gushed that Lucia "deserved to conquer the industry" after she left Idols SA.


            As fate would have it, Lucia was eliminated, but her voice remained stuck in many music-lovers ears.


            After being wowed by "Ndomelele"  her rousing track from Sculptured Music's 2017 Breath Again album, we tracked Lucia down to see how her career and life has fared since her Idols SA stint.


DHLA: A lot of people (myself included) had really hoped that you would become the winner of Idols Season 12. To be honest we were actually heartbroken when your journey in Idols came to an end, so I can only imagine your personal sorrow.

How did you deal with the disappointment of being eliminated?


Lucia: Being eliminated was heartbreaking as at that time I had seen myself going to America.

            Reaching that far, without any organised supporting team from home, was however quite an achievement.

            The disappointment later inspired the song with Sculptured Music "Ndomelele" (Xhosa for "I am strong") meaning that despite being out of the competition, I had been strong to have made it that far.


DHLA: "Ndomelele" is quite an emotional song and it does indeed sound like you talking to yourself and encouraging yourself to remain strong...tell us a bit more about the writing of the song.

Lucia: That's true, it ["Ndomelele"] was to encourage myself after Idols as well as to encourage everyone else that this life we live is never worth giving up on. 

            It's me saying that no matter what happens today, you are stronger than you were yesterday.


DHLA: Heartbreaks aside, Idols is always a great learning platform for participants. What lessons  did you take for yourself during your time in the competition?

Lucia: Personally I learnt the need to always be open to new things.

            I also learnt how to get along with other people because as contestants we all had the same goal but that didn't make us enemies.

            Professionally I got an understanding of how to how to present myself well on stage and knowing how to choose the best songs for my voice. 

DHLA: You made quite an impression on the judges. Since leaving the show what have you done to polish your God-given vocal gifts so  that you can become the star many people feel you are destined to be?



Lucia: I'm working hard to develop myself so that I can be that sophisticated singer of our times.

            I am also working with other artists to create and share music so that people don't forget me.

DHLA: In terms of your style and approach to music, how would you describe yourself as a singer?

Lucia: I'd say that I'm quite a versatile singer though my approach is more on the Soulful side.

            At the moment I'm working on songs that talk about the realities of the days we are living in.


DHLA: Many young girls fantasize about becoming the next pop super star...singing in front of the mirror and dreaming about the day they get to perform in front of thousands. When did you realize that you were vocally gifted?

Lucia: I actually realised this when I was young but I never had a dream of being on Idols or on TV. It's only with time and growth that I saw the opportunities that could be found in music.

DHLA: Since that time, which artists have inspired and influenced you?

Lucia: I'm impressed by the late Busi Mhlongo, Miriam Makeba, Bra Hugh and Lulu Dikana. 


DHLA: What exactly is it about these greats that has touched you deeply?

Lucia: A lot is about how they conveyed their musical message.

            With Miriam Makeba and Bra Hugh, it would be the role their music played in showing the world the beauty of singing in our mother languages.

DHLA: When you perform, you clearly lose yourself in the music. What is it about music that makes you fall in love with it?


Lucia: I fell in love with music because of the message it shares.

            I'm also in love with instruments especially the bass guitar

DHLA: We are excited about your upcoming EP. Please share with us when it is scheduled to be released and what it will sound like?

Lucia: About the release date I honestly don't know at the moment.

            In terms of sound, I am looking into tapping all genres.

I have a Hiphop /Afro-Soul song with Masedi, a House track with Sculptured Music and "Wenzani Ngami" [released earlier this year].

            I promise people won't be disappointed when that time comes for the EP to be released.

DHLA: You've shared that "Wenzani Ngami" [literally "What are you doing with me?"] was written from your own personal experience of being in a stagnant relationship and finally getting the courage to move on. What gave you that strength to say "enough is enough" and leave?

Lucia: Seeing that nothing was happening was enough

            Talking to my then ex about settling and him not being ready, that was enough.

DHLA: Leaving a toxic relationship is a big step but staying away can be so hard because there is always the temptation to "try again", while your ex may also "beg" for yet another chance.

How did you manage to never look back and keep on walking?



Lucia: It's hard and I am still trying to walk further because my happiness and kids happiness comes first.

DHLA: What is your advise to women who feel "trapped" in abusive or unsatisfying relationships but are struggling to leave because of let's be honest moving on can be quite scary?

Lucia: Moving on is scary but my advise would be trust your instincts if something is not working 

it's not working, move on because there are greener pastures.

DHLA: We are made to understand that you are the other to two handsome boys whom we pray and hope grow up into strong responsible men. As a mother, how are you grooming them to be grounded, positive men who will nurture and take care of the women in their lives?

Lucia: Children always do what you do, so I try daily to be a good example of a mother that can love them and lead them to be respectful men and remind them that, nothing and no one is above God.

DHLA: Regarding being signed to a record label, last we heard you were in the process of trying to secure a record deal. What's the situation like now?


Lucia: It's still the same.
I am still looking for a home for my brand.

DHLA: What do you need right now to take your career to the next level?


Lucia: I would say that a team that believes in me and the music in me as well as an international tour doing cover versions of songs by South African legends.

Lucia is undoubtedly an amazingly soulful vocalist and thundering performer, who has the potential to become a standout artist.

As she affirms in "Ndomelele" today she is stronger than she was yesterday.


May that same strength flow into her tomorrow.



#ThatsAwrap



#LuciaJakeniDHLAinnerview #DHLAinnerviews #DHLA


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