Zoë Modiga is not a new name in the South African music industry. She is a super-talented South African musician who does not shy away from being vocal about her identity and roots.
The 28-years old KwaZulu-Natal native has been making waves thanks to her singing expertise. Her upbringing has played a significant role in influencing the kind of music she releases to her fans. She is an embodiment of the present and the future of African music.
Zoë Modiga profile
- Full name: Palesa Nomthandazo Phumelele Modiga
- Date of birth: 1993
- Zoë Modiga place of birth: Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal
- Zoë Modiga age: 28 years
- Nationality: South African
- Marital status: Single
- Profession: Singer, songwriter
Zoë Modiga biography
Who is Zoë Modiga? She is a South African singer and songwriter born in 1993. The singer was brought up in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal. She has not revealed details about her parents and siblings to the public.
The singer has not offered any information about her educational background nor the level of education attained. However, due to her love for music, she attended different music schools to better her skills.
She joined the National School of the Arts in Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, to take classical piano, clarinet and vocals. Later on, she joined the College of Music, UCT, to study jazz performance.
Career and music journey
The singer did not become famous in a day. Her career has grown over the years thanks to her discipline, hard work and commitment. Zoë Modiga music journey has been a diverse path, but she has conquered it all to become the great singer she is today.
She started her career in the music industry a long while ago. In one of her interviews, she revealed that she had been plying her trade in the industry for over a decade before gaining recognition.
I then started my journey as a recording artist in 2017 after being a professional performer for 11 years.
Her career as an artist took centre stage a few years ago. This happened after winning the 2015 SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition for Jazz.
After three years of growing fame, she released her 23-track debut album in 2018. Even though it was her first album, it played a huge role in fueling her recognition locally and internationally. The album Yellow: The Novel earned her SAMA nominations under two different categories. It was nominated for the Best African Artist Album and Best Jazz Album.
The Zoë Modiga album release marked the beginning of a series of performances in many high-end places and festivals in South Africa. Some of the places where she performed include:
- Aardklop Festival
- Artscape Youth Jazz Festival
- UCT Jazz Festival
- Joy of Jazz
- Cape Town International Jazz Festival
The singer has continued to wow her fans and followers with great music over the years. Despite the fame, her humility speaks a lot about her personality. She does not take credit for being super-talented but instead has other things and people to thank for it.
I credit my creator and the gift of human life and experience for all that I am and all the people I came across. I credit all the incredible stories and all the heroes before us who paved the way selflessly.
The singer has released massive hit songs over the years. Her albums have also been a majority's favourite. Some of the songs and albums in her name include:
Zoë Modiga songs
- Love (Yahweh)
- Ilanga Lishonile
- Shake the World
- Cos Cos Yaphela
- Black Butterfly
- Abounding Within
- The Healer
- Uh Oh (Sensible Life)
- One Litre Deep
- Open Your Eyes; You Can Fly
- Black and Gold
- Fall Down
- And So It Goes
- Nantsi Ntswepe
- Ucu Olun'nyama
- Would They
- Voices of Our Vision
2017 - Yellow: The Novel
2020 - Inganekwane
Zoe has recently released an album, Inganekwane, and it has been making waves in the South African media. The album can best be described as the melting pot of West African rhythms, heartfelt Zulu storytelling and South African sensibilities.
The album is a love letter to all the Blacks all over the world. Her song, Inganekwane from her previous album, was the inspiration behind the new album's title. The key message held is that all Black people have the duty and responsibility of falling deeper in love with themselves.
Thus, the album was greatly received, inspiring her to dig deeper into ideas around her roots and identity as a young Black African storyteller. As a result, she aims to release songs that will speak to Africans' hearts and minds at her home place and beyond.
The album was written in 2019, recorded in March 2020 and released in July the same year. The singer strongly believes that the album represents the thousands of untold African stories that many wish to narrate for others to hear.
With this album, I feel the urgency of our stories being told at the forefront of our minds. The ideologies from many before us were a safety net for this work. Seeing and hearing storytellers from all over the continent was inspiring, and it became important to create a modern narrative. Banda Banda and I teamed up to craft the soundscape of this album, as he gladly availed himself to produce it.
Zoë Modiga nominations
She draws her music from the storytelling roots of Africa, the composition of jazz and her sound. With a combination of the three elements, her music never loses its essence. As a result, her songs and albums have earned several accolades as follows:
- South African Music Award for Best Jazz Album
- South African Music Award for Rest of Africa Artist
- Mbokodo Award - an event to recognise women who have shown leadership, fostered growth and made efforts to strengthen the arts.
- Mzantsi Jazz Awards for the Best Jazz Contemporary Album
- Mzantsi Jazz Awards for the Best Newcomer in Jazz
- Mzantsi Jazz Awards for the Best Jazz Song
- SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition
Zoë Modiga is one of the most talented young musicians in South Africa. By challenging the status quo, she is steadily creating an immortal legacy of cultural impact through songs and albums. Her fashion and storytelling are playing a significant role too.
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