By Luke Pellegrini
Vibes and energetic yet serene, is how I would best describe July’s Artist of the Month, Princess Khanya.
Growing up loving music and taking inspiration from Britney Spears perform ‘Baby One More Time’ on TV, it was only a matter of time before the young artist would pursue music and dance.
Building on that initial inspiration, Khanya these days takes her main inspiration for her sound from artists like H.E.R, Erykah Badu and India Arie. With aspirations to sound like Doja Cat in the future, saying “I just feel like her music is pretty laid back and funny, and I like how she manages to be funny in her songs, whereas my inspirations right now are more serious and sing these R&B songs about catching feelings and all that stuff…”.
Describing her sound as Neo-R&B/Afro the young artist explained why she chose this sound, saying “It’s the most natural sound for me, I do love all kinds of music an have sung different genres, but it’s different when I sing an Afro song and an R&B song”. She further explained her sound and used her newest single ‘Summer’ as an example, saying “I feel like my most recent single was that (Neo-R&B/Afro) in a way, because I worked with a producer who is American, so she has that American R&B sound and I’m African and I love Afro music, it’s what I grew up listening to, so I felt like we kind of merged our backgrounds. Like her African American background with the R&B and then my background with the Afro genre and I feel like it kind of encompasses those two genres in a way, but I don’t think it fully sounds like an R&B song and it doesn’t fully sound like an Afro song either.”
Currently Khanya has four singles out, but there is new music coming, with an E.P. expected to drop sometime late this year. The E.P., which is being written and produced by the young artist and the same producer that worked on her latest single ‘Summer’. Describing the experience of putting together her first E.P. so far, the young artist divulged what it was like working with her producer, saying “… and that’s been a really cool experience, she’s a very very amazing song writer and she’s been challenging me. Like literally, I’ll write something and she’s like ‘nope, re-write it’ and I’ll re-write it and I’ll be like ‘yes! this is so cool’ and she’ll be like ‘nah again’. So it’s definitely hard and I’ve had moments where I’m like ‘oh my God, what am I even doing, I suck, I cant even write a song’. But I think it’s just building blocks and its all about growth and learning. So that experience has been really cool and I’m really excited to have it out cause I’ve never done an E.P. before, so yeah it’s been really cool”. As well as this, the young artist also outlined her Aspirations for the E.P., mentioning her desire to collab with multiple artists residing in Perth and abroad and various music video ideas. But above all else, she would like to sing a whole set of her own original music saying “…I’d love to do a show where it’s just original, so that’ll be the goal for the E.P. when it comes out”.
But how were these songs written? The young artist described her song writing technique as a process of finding a random beat on the internet that she likes and then freestyling over it. She divulged further saying “cause for this E.P. when I started writing for it I didn’t have the beats yet, so I was like ‘ugh, I don’t even have any inspiration, so in order for me to get some inspiration and start writing, I’ll just search up a random beat and just freestyle to it, record myself and then if something sticks ill start writing. But I don’t necessarily say ‘this melody I’m writing is the exact melody we’re going to use’, more so for me to just write something down and just have something for me to listen to, to get me inspired”.
Overall, if you like music that you can vibe to, energetic performances with singing and dancing or you just enjoy music with serene vocals, then Princess Khanya is the artist for you.