Music has charms to soothe a savage Breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.
I’ve read, that things inanimate have mov’d,
And, as with living Souls, have been inform’d
Thank you William Congreve, I can take it from here.
I have already put up a post that talks about my life’s memories in music, and how, I think, that a slew of music makers and music players over the years have saved my life. Music, I will say again should be the new religion-that gets all of us warring people-whether we’re waging wars with other people or with ourselves-to calm the hell down and just listen to music. Any kind of music.
I am one of those people that think music has changed-and I do feel like getting out a fuddy-duddy sweater with leather enforced elbows and a pipe when I want to talk about how ‘they don’t make it like they used to these days.’ Don’t get me wrong-on a night out I will happily dance the night away to whatever the DJ is spinning. Often, the music will be an ode to sex, love and (sometimes) rock n’ roll. I will gyrate my hips to the sound of Pharell Williams and Daft Punk making me believe that tonight I can get lucky. But when the smoke machine is off and the only beat I can hear is the sound of my heart pumping blood to my overextended ears-the sole memory of the night is my sore feet and a mild hangover. Music today, rarely makes me think. Popular music anyway.
But-there’s always a glimmer of hope, and one of my favourite silver linings in music has to be Shishani. I wish I liked her music because she is beautiful. I wish I liked her music because I know her. I wish I liked her music for a multitude of other things-but I like, no, love her music quite simply because it makes sense. Shishani’s music is a mirror reflection of her self-beautiful, unpretentious, honest and real. She sings about things that we can all relate to-giving music that culture crossing quality that I love so much. When you listen to her music, you don’t really care what her roots and parentage and origin is. You care that she’s singing about saving a beach-much like many beaches around the world that need saving from capitalist greed and complete disregard for the bigger picture. You care that the words you hear are not just words but real feelings and genuine sentiments coming from a woman who has felt or is feeling the love that she is singing about. Shishani’s music cares.
Shishani’s music asks questions that we should ask ourselves. What are we doing here? Why do you love that person? How honest are you with yourself?
One of my favourite Shishani songs comes from her Windhoek EP and is titled ‘Raining Words’.
The distance speaks,
No turning back,
There’s only road ahead,
I broke your heart,
Got to carry the pain,
Now I go my way.
The rules of love,
Are written in those clouds above,
I tell no lies,
I know we had our time now we say bye bye.
Though it’s raining,
Words escaping me,
No explanations to how I feel,
All the letters ,
Can fall into patterns,
But the sentences would make no sense.
Though it’s raining words,
Telling you how I feel,
Telling you how I feel, remains difficult to reveal.
Poetry. I get goosebumps just writing about it. Shishani’s songs are emotions in motion (can I trademark that phrase or has someone already?) I could go on for days about why I think artists like Shishani should get more airplay than Rick Ross. But that’s just me.
Anyhow, Shishani found time off her uber busy schedule to answer a few questions about herself and her music. Thanks Shishani. Set the clock:
Sistaseeker: What do you sing about and why?
Shishani: I sing about my feelings and how I see life. I sing about things that matter to me and things I want to raise awareness about.
(Inner voice): Not just a pretty face. Her music has a conscience too-I like that!
Sistaseeker: How powerful is music a tool for change?
Shishani: Music is extremely powerful as a tool for change. It can lift spirits up when hope seems gone. Think of how Bob Marley used music to create political awareness in Jamaica, how traditional Mbira music was used to do the same during the war for independence in Zimbabwe, how Hip Hop was the music of the Tunisian revolution. Music can approach matters that speech alone can’t, it is accessible. That’s why I try to sing about equality and respecting our nature through music. It’s my personal channelization. (Is that a word?)
(Inner voice): Apparently channelization is a word-had no idea-you live you learn right? I also didn’t know about that role that Hip Hop played in the Tunisian revolution. Typing into Google now…
Sistaseeker: How many albums have you put out?
Shishani: In 2011, I released my Windhoek EP. Right now I’m working on my first full album.
(Inner Voice): I have that EP and I love every song on it.
Sistaseeker: Where can we get your music and how much does it cost?
Shishani: Once the album is out, you will get to know aaaaaall about those questions.
(Inner Voice): Yes sir ma’am.
Sistaseeker: What do you do to unwind?
Shishani: I pick up my guitar. Doing the dishes also helps sometimes.
(Inner Voice): I do the dishes too. And a whole lot of cleaning. The cleaner my space, the worse for wear I am. How bizarre.
Sistaseeker: Do your partners ask you to sing them to sleep?
Shishani: Hmm, I remember being asked maybe twice only 🙂 He he he. Maybe I sang them crazy.
(Inner voice): Twice? Only? Ungrateful people. If your singing drives people crazy then I am ready for the loony bin. Have been for a while…
Sistaseeker: If you, for whatever reason, couldn’t do music, what else would you like to do for a living?
Shishani: I’d be thinking of ways to do music therapy- oh wait, no music at all?! Then I’d be working with people, mainly kids, and trying to help develop their artistic potential.
(Inner Voice): Awwwwwww!
Sistaseeker: Where in the world have you performed and which has been you best received performance to date?
Shishani: I’ve performed in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Ireland, Ibiza, Czech Republic, Poland, Morocco, Malawi, South Africa and Namibia. Best reception, wow, it’s so hard to tell because maybe people are really appreciating the music but process that internally 🙂 The best reception by far was in Namibia though, if we take into account that people loved it and they SHOWED it. Most recently, Poland showed me how you can have a party whateverrr the weatherrr. People were dancing and sliding in the mud through the rain for two hours. Yup, these Slavic people know how to party. So there you have it. Top two: Namibia and Poland. Best received gigs: April 20th FNCC, Windhoek Namibia: record breaking amount of people turned up at that venue, jam packed an amazing vibe in the air that night.
(Inner Voice): Wow, you remember the date and everything-must have been some vibe….
Sistaseeker: What’s your dream collaboration team?
Shishani: Dream collaboration team?! Holy moly. I’d love to do a joint collaboration with D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Tracy Chapman and Radiohead. Yup. Wow.
(Inner Voice): Tracy Chapman AND Radiohead? That is SOME collaboration for sure. I wish it into your life. Tweet them all viciously. As for Tracy, get in line-Zahara says she has dibs…
Sistaseeker: If you were stranded on an island, for three months, which three people would you like to be stuck there with?
Shishani: Which three people?! Holy moly 2.0. Okay, in random order: Karima el Fillali, my bezzie, with a beautiful voice and ability to crack me up like nobody’s business. We’d be trying to make wonderful music but end up laughing instead. Can’t I melt my band members into one person? It’s 2013…And Nikola Conradie, that woman works too much and needs a serious chill.
(Inner Voice): No you cannot melt people together Shishani! (There’s a UN charter about something that I am SURE prohibits the melting of people together). And it is totally unfair that you keep company with people that also have beautiful voices. I believe that practice is called music voiceism. (There’s another UN charter out there against that too.)
And there you have it. Ten Minutes with Shishani.
Now, Shishani is currently working on her second album INDIEGOGO, and is crowdsourcing the many monies that are needed to make this dream come true. I believe wholeheartedly that her music is worth investing in. If you would like to know how to be part of her INDIEGOGO project click HERE.
To hear some of her music and watch some of her songs see below. I am so proud to be associated with a person this awesome who gives music its power back.
Some more info on Shishani:
Shishani is a soulful singer/songwriter born in Namibia to a Belgian father and a Namibian mother. She left her motherland at the age of five and grew up in the Netherlands. In 2011 she started her solo
career in Namibia where she has been making headlines the past two years. She won the prestigious Last Band Standing competition, was a headliner at the Windhoek Jazz Festival (2012), and most recently her song “Minority” has been nominated for Best Music Video at the 2013 Namibian Annual Music Awards. Shishani is a social activist who addresses social issues in her music and uses art to create awareness and enhance social engagement with her audiences.
Currently she is working on her debut album through her crowdfunding campaign.
SHISHANI’S INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN :
Shishani @ Namibian Music Awards 2011
Minority Jazz Remix: