Sometimes when you listen to a song for the first time, the music really gets into your soul, you feel a sense of happiness and a calm aura moves all over your body. You suddenly have a goofy smile, your head starts nodding, your body grooves and your feet can’t stop tapping. Instantly, you are in a better place.
These are the incredible sensations I felt after listening to Cape Town based RnB and soul musician producer, Nalu Luvdust. Her message is all about love and being comfortable with yourself — a reminder that things in life can be pure and simple.
I had a chat with Nalu to break it down about her musical journey to date, speak about new music on the way and what inspires her spiritually.
Hi Nalu, one with the waves. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat to me about all things music today. Your music is so fresh and real, your lyrics are carefully crafted and the tracks you make are meaningful as they have a great message. What inspires you to write and make beautiful music each day?
My writing is my form of journaling. At the very moment that an emotion, experience or wave of energy passes through me — I write, immediately, whether I’m at home, in my car or out with people. I whip out my notepad and I write, because I know that whatever triggered that emotion was raw and that rawness will fuel the truth within my music. Eventually, with writing, I craft a whole concept and by translating this concept into beats and lyrics, I make peace with it — whether it be something troubling or uplifting. I allow the feeling to pass through me. Nothing is more powerful than listening to song that truly resonates with you. A song which makes you reminisce and accompanies your memories perfectly. I’m inspired by authenticity, by my experiences, observing the experiences of those around me, and the emotional analysis thereafter. The most piercingly honest works of art often make for the most soothing healing experiences – not only for the listeners, but for the artists, themselves. I find that my music is empowering to both me and my listeners. My music serves as a reminder to feel and feel fully, to allow your emotions to consume you, engage with them, be gentle with them and then, lay them to rest and flow on.
When did you first know that you wanted to be a musician? Was there a moment that triggered the process or did it happen naturally?
I grew up with a trombonist as a father, a pianist as a mother and a clarinetist as a older brother. I was birthed into music, into a family of musicians and dancers. My grandparents on both sides were singers at church and all my aunts and uncles were either members of the church choir or orchestra. I started singing and dance classes at the age of four at The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London, and started playing the guitar at the age of eight. By the age of ten, I had written my first single – a very simple chord progression with innocent vocals – and it was then that I knew that I wanted to express myself through music for the rest of my life. I give thanks everyday for being born into a family who nurtured me through music in this way. It is one of the biggest blessings.
What do you think the Cape Town music scene needs most at the moment?
Cape Town is an extensive hub of beautifully diverse artists. From indulging in its RnB n Soul to electronic to pure jazz — I find inspiration in all of it. The biggest issue I find in this city’s music industry is the lack of accessibility for an artist to make it big, to be valued, powerful and credited for their talents. Too often I hear Capetonian artists planning to move to Johannesburg or abroad in the hopes of expanding their success. I think that we need a greater buy-in from Capetonian listeners. We really need to support our own more.
You looked like you had so much fun making the Bedtime Confessions music video, any plans to make more videos in 2019?
The Bedtime Confessions music video was so much fun! My team worked together so freely, everything was fluid. The vision that I had for that video was a true depiction of what it means to love. My team and I brought my soul and mind ideas to life in a way that surpassed my imagination. I am so grateful for being able to create something like it. I’m releasing my first mixtape in April 2019, and thereafter, some visuals and singles will be popping off! I’ve got so much cooking. Concurrently, I’m finishing my final year at university so my academic grind is going to be at an all time high this year but I’m excited to take full advantage of my free time in between to bring more colours to my sound.
Are there any local acts that really excite you at the moment, perhaps even enough to collab with?
Nothing makes me fall in love like a 7th chord in a guitar riff and some lofi distortion. Artists like Nufi, Saat and SoundsLikeLove have really mastered these music languages and I’d love to create with them. I’d also like to work with artists who have a very different sound to me; the challenge is alluring. I’m inspired by artists such as Black Coffee, Youngsta, Dwson and Bougie Pantsula. I’d love to work with rap lyricists and fellow queer womxn of colour Hanna, who featured on Bedtime Confessions, and Nyota Parker. The spiritual connection that exists when working with other queer womxn of colour is incomparable to anything. In my experience, it has always been this motion of digging deeper on a soulful level, womxn to womxn, struggle to struggle, to reach mutual enlightenment through the music.
What kind of music are you currently listening to currently, local or International, at home or while you are out and about?
I really listen to everything under the sun. Classical music helps me find clarity in my mind while 1930s jazz helps me release and engage with my emotions. Deep house makes me feel good and whole, while lofi relieves me from my anxiety. I dissociate when I listen to music. I turn off the world around me and tune into myself. This question is so tricky because I really listen to every strain of this form of art, depending on the state of my being and what I need in order to center myself.
What are you goals for the rest of the year, musically and personally, what would you like to achieve?
I can’t answer this question without giving away too much about my mixtape but know this; everything is intentional, and my purpose is light. My goals for this year both personally and musically are intertwined — I want to the people who exist in my space and listen to my music to feel heard and understood, and with that, loved. I want them to know that what they feel is valid and it can be translated into something beautiful, something pure. I’m pursuing this mission through my releases this year, but for now, everything is top secret! You’ll just have to wait and listen.
Where can we find out about your upcoming gigs and music releases?
All information about my mixtape release and upcoming gigs will be available on my Instagram and my Twitter accounts: @naludez. A Nalu Music Facebook page is under construction and will be launched with my mixtape in April 2019. Thank you for this wholesome conversation. Peace and blessings to Nusoulhub Radio and to its readers, today and every day after this.
Watch the beautiful music video for bedtime confessions by Nalu featuring Hanna.
Featured image credit goes to Jerjus Bitumba.