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Netflix sensation Khosi Ngema on defining herself as a musician with her debut single ‘Why’

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South African audiences were introduced to Khosi Ngema when she became a Netflix sensation through the drama series ‘Blood and Water’ but now she is demonstrating that she is more than just an actress.

Now known as Kho“ si, Ngema has debuted her first official single ‘Why’, revealing her talents as a singer and songwriter.

This is the first single she’s put out.

Ngema explained to IOL Entertainment that it’s kind of an exploration of genres “with a bit of afro and a bit of piano with the beat being soulful.”

Ngema is in an experimental phase when it comes to the genres, playing around with genres before settling into any specific genre.

“I feel like my angle is to play with genres before I guess sitting into any one specific genre, but in essence have my sound be at the core of that. Maybe it’s a genre of its own but at the moment, I would say it’s alternative music,” she said.

The trendy sing-along-girl anthem is called “Why” and was written, composed and produced by Ngema. She did, however, collaborate with her partner, which helped the production process.

“It’s a cool process, especially with the song,” she recalls the creative process.

“I remember we just came home one day and I was like, let’s play with something literally in my living room. We made the song in my living room and it was just fun to play.”

Netflix sensation, actress, singer, songwriter and now certified musician Khosi Ngema now known as Kho” si. Picture: Supplied

As with every artist Ngema is critical of her work and is aware that one needs to be realistic. “As a creative, I am learning to create with your audience in mind because essentially that’s who you’re making the music for,” she said.

Ngema’s audience has been very receptive to her new music, having long suspected her talent as a songwriter and eagerly anticipating her original music, as they followed her journey through her song cover videos.

“I feel like my audience has been quite receptive because I’ve made it a priority to keep them involved in a sense of inviting them on this journey. As much as, yes, you guys know me as an actress, but you also know me as Khosi and this is what Khosi is doing.

“Me as Khosi this is my journey, listen to my music because I’m doing it now and I would love for you to be part of this. That’s my strategy moving forward to just keep them part of my journey even with experimenting with genres.”

As a way to differentiate the musician from the actress, Ngema has added a twist to her name as a musician – an apostrophe.

“I played around with a lot of stage names and just ended up feeling like Kho” si is who I am and want to be known as. The apostrophe was kind of like an aesthetic choice on my end, I just like the way it looks. The apostrophes just separate me as a musician as a different entity.”

When it comes to her aspirations for her career Ngema wants to be more established as a musician, especially since it’s still early days.

Netflix sensation, actress, singer, songwriter and now certified musician Khosi Ngema now known as Kho” si. Picture: Supplied

“I would like to be walking and running and know what I’m doing, being able to collaborate with people. I want to collaborate and have a body of work that I can look back at and be proud of. I’d like to cross over as well, the goal is always to cross over and be global.”

The 24-year-old is growing in her music career. She recently started practising with a live band, sharpening her performance skills.

As an actress, South African viewers and global audiences are currently seeing Ngema on season four of Netflix’s series ‘Blood & Water’ and she’s filmed two productions with one scheduled for release later this year.

“One of them is like a thriller and it was quite a challenge for me and I think it’s different to how people have seen me in my last role. So that’s exciting. I’m about to jump on a new one now. I don’t think I can say anything yet, but it’s also Netflix.”

Listen to ‘Why’ on all digital streaming platforms.