By Glen-Nora Tjipura
WINDHOEK-ZAMBIAN folk songstress Namvula Rennie thrilled music fans during a performance at the Franco-Namibia Cultural Centre (FNCC) last Friday in the capital.
Simply known as Namvula, the singer, songwriter, and photographer, performed in Namibia for the time, as part of her Southern African tour that started in her motherland Zambia.
Namvula, whose father is Scottish, is one of a few Zambian musicians, who found success in Europe, and has been in the limelight since the release of her debut album “Shiwezwa” in November 2014.
Her songs blend African sounds and rhythms, especially Zambian folk music with Latin, jazz and Scottish folk.
“Earlier this year, I remember stating that I want to perform more in Africa, and here I am. It’s my first time in Namibia, but I definitely want to come back here. The country has a friendly artistic vibe to it,” the jovial singer told The Southern Times, following her well-attended performance.
Namvula has lived in Switzerland, Kenya, the United States and England, developing a hybrid style with lyrics that mix Zambian languages with English, Portuguese and French, and musical influences that range from African styles to jazz.
She recently completed a UK tour and expressed a deep desire to perform in Africa more.
Namvula also dreams of performing at the annual Windhoek Jazz Festival.
During her performance, the singer connected well with her audience, which she engaged with stories and her inspirations for her songs.
“It was so much fun we even had a moment where we were just having a jam session, the crowd was absolutely great to perform for,” she said. “I feel like my music can’t really be described or even boxed as just that or this. And I think that is a great thing as an artist – to have your foot prints in everything.”
She is currently working on her next album due out next year. “I’m falling in love with house music, so I’m hoping to do a side house project as well,” she added.
Namvula quit her job as an events planner to pursue her dreams.
“It took me a long time to gain the courage and also gain the self-confidence to finally decide to follow a career in music. But it has been worthwhile, there is always the ups and downs that comes with the business and it can get really slow before things pick up but it’s worth it,” she said.