We love speaking to new artists and our chat with Tabi Gazele is no different. Inspired by the likes of Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige and Brenda Fassie (dubbed the "African Madonna"), you can feel the extent of Tabi's ambition. She recently released her own version a Brenda Fassie song: Touch Somebody and made it her own. She took some time to answer some of our questions about her music and influences.
Who is Tabi and why should the world sit up and take note?
Your latest musical offering comes in the form of a Brenda Fassie cover: ‘Touch Somebody’ - tell us why you decided to make your own version of the song.
I really love 80s funk, feel-good music. As I was listening through Brenda's catalogue, I came across 'Touch Somebody'; I smiled and played the track on repeat. Instantly I could hear it being sung and enjoyed by many people today. I think the style is timeless, it's classic.
What did Brenda’s music mean to you?
In her time Brenda was The South African Madonna; she did it for so many young aspirational women. Her music resonated with me because of the power it had to reach the masses. It was like the soundtrack to life that could get people through the great moments as well as the tough ones. The way she was able to combine traditional African and contemporary pop culture seamlessly has truly inspired me.
You’ll soon be releasing an EP - can you tell us more about that?
Yes, it's called "Remembering Brenda" and it's a re-imagination of Brenda's songs; she deserves the recognition even now. Whilst in the studio experimenting I was told by a few people that my voice reminded them of her so I decided to get in the studio with my brother Timomatic on production just as a “try out” - It was a wild thing to try and not something I would normally do…but it just clicked and we had so much fun working on the project. All we have done is added some 2017 bottom end to already great songs.
2017 is halfway through, what do you want to do in the next 6 months of the year that you have not yet done?
I want to travel/perform locally and internationally. I've been so focused on releasing this project that I haven't had much time to go out and take advantage of being close to many gorgeous places. I want to get lost in new cities.
And finally, what does success mean to you?
Living without fear and doubt; helping people to realise that they are enough, that they matter and gaining as much wealth and knowledge as I can to be in a position of influence so I can be part of a legacy greater than myself. Oh yeah, and finding something to laugh at everyday!
Be sure to check out Tabi's cover blow and follow her on her socials too: