Yolanda Nyembezi, better known as Yallunder, has cemented her spot as one of South Africa’s vocalists to watch. This classically trained singer leads with her experience and brings a polished dimension to the Afrosoul genre, something that is uniquely hers.
Since her rise to prominence 2 years ago, Afrosoul fans have been fed well in the form of an EP titled “Uthando Lwam” and a slew of sonically satisfying collaborations such as “Andifuni Ngawe” with DJ duo Lemon and Herb and “Kuvaliwe” with fellow vocalist Nobuhle.
Her single “Emaphupheni Am” is her first release under music agency Vth Season. This reasonably new partnership promises to contribute to her artistic growth. We caught up with the star and learned more about her as an artist.
‘Emaphupheni Am’ is a song about yearning for a lost love, where’d you draw inspiration for the song from?
Yallunder: I think the lyrics are the answer to this question, it’s a song written in acknowledging lost love. Thinking about them to the point of dreaming about them. The message behind it is that; sometimes it takes time to fall in love and falling out of love or letting go, also will take time.
The single is also your first release under one of Mzansi’s best music agencies, Vth Season. How has that experience been since you signed with them?
Yallunder: It’s too soon to give a response however in my career, this opportunity is a movement towards a positive direction.
You’re actually a classically trained vocalist, which is what adds a different vibe to your music. When did you decide to venture into Afrosoul and what interested you about the genre?
Yallunder: Afro Soul is one of those genres that I feel resonated with me because of how artists before me (Simphiwe Dana, Thandiswa Mazwai, etc) used this genre to not only sing about love but a lot more social issues… being classically trained just means a difference in the approach. For the African female voice, this genre is expressive hence so many Afro Soul artists are involved in the dance scene… Afro Soul is an Expression.
‘Emaphupheni Am’, however, is more R&B/Soul compared to your 2020 EP release ‘Uthando Lwam,’ will we be getting more R&B/Soul from more of your upcoming releases?
Yallunder: I don’t hear genre in my writing… hence I don’t hear the difference in this song compared to my previous work. Going forth, it will still be music I feel and written according to the emotion it comes in.
What else can we expect from Yallunder this year?
Yallunder: There’s a lot that Yallunder is hoping for ranging from the release of music to more performances. However, what will come to light, is what me and the team are able to do. On a lighter note; I will be performing at the Premium Jazz Festival in Pretoria Freedom Park on the 6th of August.