Nandipha Pantsi
2 minute read
1 Sep 2014
6:00 am

Moneoa writing her own script

Nandipha Pantsi

R&B singer Moshesh "Moneoa" Sowazi is well known for her hits Isibanxha and More Than You.

Moneoa is a perfectionist when it comes to her music. Picture: Supplied

She has collaborated with popular musicians such as Sizwe “Reason” Moeketsi and house duo Revolution and she was a choirmaster on the second season of Clash Of The Choirs SA. But the 24-year-old says there is still much people don’t know about her.

“When people see you as a ‘celebrity,’ they think they know everything about you,” she says. “They assume you drive a flashy car, live in a large house and wear expensive clothes. But that is not the life I live and I am not ashamed to say that.”

With her second album, titled Ndim Lo (This Is Me) Moneoa hopes to show her fans a side of her other than the perceived glamour of showbusiness.

“When I was recording the album I imagined myself having a conversation with a close friend,” she says.

“With my first album, there was something inside me that wanted to please people and produce the kind of music that would sell. But this time, it’s all about pleasing myself. I’m hoping people will enjoy my music because they can relate to it.”

Moneoa was the youngest choir master on this year's Clash Of The Choirs SA. Picture: Supplied

Moneoa was the youngest choir master on this year’s Clash Of The Choirs SA.
Picture: Supplied

As one of the few local artists who sing R&B music, Moneoa is very clear about her sound.

“I grew up listening to a lot of American R&B music, but that is not the kind of music I write,” she says.

“My music is soulful but it has a very distinct South African element to it. Very often, it’s in the use of my home language, isiXhosa, or in the stories I tell.”

Moneoa also hopes she can remain fun and spontaneous.

“Soul is a very mature genre and, because of this, people tend to think I am a lot older than I actually am. As an artist I am categorised with musicians such as Zonke Dikana, Lira and Zahara, but I am much younger than they are. I don’t want this industry to make me ‘older’ than I am.”

The question about Moneoa’s age has been both a blessing and a curse. She became the youngest artist to join Clash Of The Choirs SA as a choirmaster and made it to the top three.

“Being on the show was extremely difficult for me. A lot of people were expecting me to fail, just to prove I was too young to be a choirmaster. Even my choir doubted me at times, but I had to work hard because I knew they were relying on me to lead them.”

Looking back at her time on the series, Moneoa says it confirmed what she had always known: “When it comes to music, I am a perfectionist.”