10 YEARS ON AND STILL JAZZYING IT UP
For 10 years, Judith Sephuma has been serenading her fans across the globe with her jazz lyrics. And like wine, she has gotten better with age as when people think they have heard the best of her, she comes up with yet another hit. To find out more about her and what she is up to as she marks a decade in the music industry, The Voice sent her a questionnaire and below is how she responded
Q. As a person, what makes you typically South African?
South Africans are loving souls that cares for others. The spirit of “Ubuntu” is rooted in my veins day in and out. I love hanging around people and meeting new people – I make new friends almost every day. I am just an easy-going person who loves being positive in life. I love surrounding myself with people who add value to my life and I love, love, love the good things in life.
Oh yes, I love music. Here, we sing all the time, either it’s food, joy or struggle. we express our feelings through singing.
Q. When and how did you discover your love of music?
I believe music is something one is born with, it cannot be a discovery. You realize the gift you have and pursue it. Growing up, I was just a curious little girl who believed in herself. So, I was and got driven to stand out.
Q. How would you say your music is distinctively South African?
You see, for me, music is the universal language of humankind. My music is for everyone who has a good ear for good, soulful and inspirational sound and melodies. For example, my new album I am a living testimony is inspirational record that takes you on a journey of life, through songs about love in Sepedi and Zulu. I am very proud of it. In short, my music is for all.
Q. What has been the impact of music in your life?
Music is my life. Music is the only gift that I have after my life. It is something that I am passionate about and that I try to perfect at whatever show I do, making it sound better than the last one. I just love music so much and it is the only thing I know how to do best.
Q. As a mother and a successful female performing artist, where do you find the strength to push not only the brand “Judith Sephuma”, but your craft as a musician?
Music and family works together for me. I never want to treat being a mom as a ‘job’ simple because then that becomes a problem. I would get tired one day. But it works together and it pushes me to work hard. Family gives you strength and supports you even when the times are tough. Family is a blessing to my craft. Things just happen because of the mentality I have about my family and my business.
Q. What is the one thing you like about SA?
Food, people and music.
Q. Can you spot a South African in a group of people say in America and if yes is the distinctively typically South African feature?
Honestly, not really. Unless maybe, they are talking – I can tell with accent etc. for me, it’s not about either you are South African or not. We are all humans – and we should treat, respect and love one another regardless of our nationalities.
Q. As a South African celebrity you obviously sell your country through music, but what do you usually tell people about SA when you are abroad and off stage?
First of all, we are a caring and loving nation. We are the only country that has two Noble price winners from the same town and street, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu and uTata Nelson Mandela. This country has wonderful tourism places to visit – from natural reserve to heritage place such as Mapungubwe, Table Mountain etc.
Q. If South Africa Tourism was to ask you to be an ambassador of a certain tourism attraction is SA which place would you chose and why?
This is a difficult one, hahahaa. It’s hard to choose, you know. However, I think my birth Province, Limpopo Province, has the potential. It has beautiful game reserves, amazing heritage place and loving people.
Q. The new DVD will be capping off ten years since your first release, what does the future hold for you?
The future holds really great things. I want to record an album which I am really, really passionate about. It will not be something that people will expect as I’m trying to do something different. I want to show people that a vocalist needs to be as versatile as I can be – and more. I also want to show that music is not all about what we cage ourselves to be. There are a whole lot of styles that I can do and do them really well, but I can only perfect a few of them.
Q. Your album, I Am A Living Testimony’ what does it say to you?
It is nothing less than a reflection of my testimonial and journey thus far and one that will inspire listeners to reflect on their own. It’s an inspirational record that takes you on a journey of life, through songs about love in Sepedi and Zulu. I am very proud of it.
Q. 10 years into the music industry, surely that calls for some celebration
Of course, as part of this celebration, we embarked on “A Legacy Live in Concert” musical tour across the country. This tour led to the recording of the long-waited and anticipated live DVD recording under the musical direction of Themba Mkhize which was held on February 4 and 5 2012 at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef, Johannesburg.
Q. What else should we expect from you?
Watch the space, I will be launching the ‘Judith Sephuma Children’s Foundation’ sometime soon. You know I am a mother — I love children so much and am passionate about the well-being and early childhood development of children.