South African Music Award (Sama) winner Berita has released a new single which she launched at News Cafe at Hemingways Mall in East London recently.
Ndicel’ikiss (Please give me a kiss) had a warm reception at the intimate ceremony.
Berita says this song is something she carries in her, more than any song she’s released in the past.
“I spent a lot of time during the composition making sure it would feel right. I also played all the guitars and worked with one producer to keep the production team small for a personal touch,” she said.
This song has a distinct sound, similar to that of the late Oliver Mtukudzi.
“I wrote this song in December 2018 and on that particular day, I was missing tata Oliver a lot. I then decided to write a song inspired by him,” Berita said.
TruFM bulletin newsreader Bongiswa Baliti-Mantakana co-wrote the song and has nurtured in her a love of poetry since her high school days
“I have never written music before. This was actually transcribed from one of my poems, Yakhal’intombi (The Woman Cried),” Baliti-Mantakana said.
The pair have been friends for a few years. One of the challenges that they experienced was that Berita is Ndebele-speaking and Baliti-Mantakana is Xhosa-speaking.
“She helped me express myself better as an isiXhosa linguist and it was a lovely collaborative process. We are continuing to write more songs together,” Berita said.
She involved her fans in choosing the album art of the single via an Instagram post on January 18.
“I make music as a soundtrack to people’s memories, so it’s very important that in each step of releasing the music, I keep them involved and excited,” she said.
Though it’s still early days, the work on Berita’s upcoming album has started.
“For now i am very excited by how my new single has been so well received.” I’m very grateful for that and I’m encouraged to go and work on my best album yet,” she said.