Kelly Khumalo is one of Africa’s foremost musicians. She rose to prominence nearly 2 decades ago. Over the years, Kelly has managed to receive numerous major awards as a musician. She has also sold out countless arenas with her LIVE performances. The songstress is also a globally acclaimed TV personality. Kelly has had many TV appearances, most notably headlining her own vastly successful reality series, “Life With Kelly Khumalo” as well as being a judge on “Idols SA” and “Clash of The Choirs”. In addition to her prowess as a public figure, Kelly is also an established entrepreneur. She is the proprietor of several successful business ventures such as the skin care brand known as “Skin By Kelly Khumalo” and her own gin label, “Controversy Gin”. Kelly also has a relatively strong presence on social media, having in excess of 2.5 million followers on her personal Instagram page. The songstress alomg with her companies can be found on any social media platform. The Hype Magazine’s Life & Style correspondent, Charles Myambo (CM) had an interview with Kelly Khumalo (KK). Below are some excerpts from the interview.
CM: Kelly, you are the textbook definition of a perennial superstar. You have been making hits for nearly 2 decades now. Could you walk us through the creative process behind your debut album, T.K.O?
KK: The TKO creative process was cute and fascinating for me as it was my first time in the studio and first time writing and being behind the mic professionally, the writing process was not something I expected, we wrote about simple staff things I could relate to.
CM: Not many musicians are capable of maintaining relevance for as long a period of time as you have managed. What are the key components in your unwavering durability in the music industry?
KK: Authenticity is key. 19 years is a very long time to not be your true self and I’ve learned that people easily relate to what is real. respecting my craft and my followers has also played a major role in remaining relevant for this long.
CM: Since your debut back in 2005, it took you nearly a decade to receive your first SAMA award which incidentally was also your first major award. In 2013, what exactly did it mean to you to finally get the accolades you deserved after 8 long years as a professional?
KK: It was a weird moment for me, I wasn’t sure what to feel as I had gone past the stage of excitement over awards, maybe if it came in the first 2 years in the industry, I might have been excited, I think my interest in awards had subsided. I wanted more meaningful things in the industry, cementing myself as one of the best vocalists in the African continent, reaching gold and platinum status and headlining my own shows.
CM: Besides being an iconic musician, you also established yourself as a vastly popular TV personality. How would you describe your experience over the years as a mainstream TV personality?
KK: I had to own my gift, find comfort in being great which is very intimidating, I had to go for the title of The Voice Of Africa knowing very well I could be challenged but I stood my ground.
CM: How significant were the changes in your lifestyle when fame and money finally came along?
KK: Very significant, I had to firm up my humility, constantly remind myself that I’m not defined by money and fame until it became second nature to me.
CM: Perhaps what separates you from most is your undeniable authenticity and accountability. What exactly prompted you to open up about your past struggles and how did you overcome them?
KK: I think owning your truth and accepting even the worst parts of who you are is the best tool to have in life cause no one can ever use your truth against you.
CM: In addition to being a legendary superstar, you are a fantastic mother. What adjustments did you have to make in your life to be able to establish an ideal balance between being a loving mother and a successful career woman?
KK: None, everything just fell into place automatically, I can’t really pinpoint the changes I’ve made, I guess I make time for what’s important to me. God, Me, Career and Family.
- Kelly Khumalo – Empini (15M Views)
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