Blacklight chats with the award-winning afro soul singer about heritage, musical collaborations and her latest self-titled album, Berita.
By: Staff Writer
Photos courtesy of Vthseason
Blacklight: What has Berita been up to?
Berita: I just came back from Kampala, in Uganda. I performed at the Bayimba International Festival and also did an exclusive show at a private function the next day. It was my first time in East Africa. I really enjoyed the energy, the people, the food and the environment. I would love to do more of that.
Blacklight: You were born and raised in Zimbabwe but you moved to SA, five years ago. How does exploring the African continent inspire you?
Berita: I call myself an African Jewel because I see myself as the child of the whole continent. I am very fond of my continent. I am appreciating it even more now that I am able to travel to more African countries through my music. I think that we are all Africans, and we shouldn’t classify ourselves as anything other than that.
Blacklight: How do you celebrate Heritage month?
Berita: I feel like every day should be heritage day. We shouldn’t wait for just one day in a year to celebrate our heritage. I am big on showcasing my culture in everything I do. As a young African woman I am very curious about my heritage and every day I try and explore it further. I think it’s great to have a month where we can remind ourselves of our heritage but for me it’s daily thing.
Blacklight: How do you maintain who you are in the overly competitive music industry?
Berita: By simply being true to myself. No matter what happens, you must be true to yourself. I started five years ago and I am on my third album and I believe I am still here because I am true to myself and I am honest with my music. That’s what touches people’s hearts.
Blacklight: Do you ever take a moment to reflect on your achievements and failures?
Berita: All the time! It’s important to reflect as an artist – look at where you come from, where you are and where you want to be – that’s how you’re able to measure your growth. Looking back to when I first I started I am amazed at where I am now and how I was able to overcome the challenges along the way. Reflecting helps you become a better artist and person.
Blacklight: What do you love so much about music?
Berita: I love touching people’s lives. It’s always nice to bump into people and hear the stories about how your music made them feel at certain points in their lives. There are many returns but I feel like touching people is what makes me love what I do.
Blacklight: What is so astounding about your latest album?
Berita: This album shows quite a lot of musical progression. On the last two albums I was writing more from an observer’s point of view. I also didn’t have much experience in the studio and so other people would run the show. But this album is more about me taking control on all creative parts of my career and I was also able to write more from a personal point of view. It shows a more confident side of me.
Blacklight: What did you learn from your collaboration with Bra Hugh and Oliver Mtukudzi on your song “Mwana Wa Mai”?
Berita: Firstly, that is like the master class of music, between the two of them, that’s like a hundred years of music knowledge. What I took from the experience is that you must be true to yourself at all times. Bra Oliver always says you have to be honest with your music and you must always send a message to the people. Just being around them was quite a humbling experience and it really inspired me a lot as a young artist.
Blacklight: You currently have a big house tune with Mobi Dixon (Ezizweni), on high rotation. How big are you on collaborations?
Berita: I love collaborating and the experience with Mobi was great, I feel like he interpreted the song so well. I sent him a voice note with just the vocals and he just took it to a whole new level. I would like to do it more often but we will just have to wait and see.
Blacklight: Do you feel any pressure as a young musician?
Berita: Not at all, there is more to come – an album every year, hopefully.
Watch the video for Mobi Dixon and Berita’s Ezizweni:
Berita’s self-titled album is available on iTunes and in stores.