Zoë Modiga expects to wow crowds at upcoming Jazz Festival

Zoë Modiga will wow her fans at upcoming Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Picture: Supplied

Zoë Modiga will wow her fans at upcoming Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 30, 2024


Radiant Zoë Modiga will soon strike a fabulous pose on The Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) stage. JANE MAYNE found out more about the singer’s sonic explorations.

Face to face, Zoë Modiga is warm and engaged. Her enthusiasm for South African music makes her the perfect ambassador for the new generation of pathfinders.

“The view for the future of South African music looks amazing. We continue to spearhead conversations not only here locally, but in the world. I’m excited to be discovering different kinds of artists, whether they’re in the music space, the theatre space, or fashion space – our stories are continuing to be told, and I’m excited to behold that, to be a part of that, and to impact that in some way, but also to learn from it too,” she said.

“We will always have rich stories to share, and that’s something I’ve seen from those who’ve come before me. It’s something I see amongst my peers and its definitely something I witness in those who are coming after me. It’s exciting and beautiful all around.”

Modiga is also known for her eye-catching style. It’s no surprise then that she quotes the likes of Nao Serati, Rich Mnisi, Thebe Magugu and Inga as designers she’s collaborated with. Is she mostly in the artist’s seat here too?

“I would say it’s a little bit of both… I get to work with really incredible designers from time to time. There’s a lot of designers that I find I really relate to what they share. But I also love to style my own looks as well, so that it lines up with the messaging of the music.

“With my album Yellow: The Novel, I was wearing a whole lot of yellow, finding it from goodness knows where, and with the second album, Inganekwane, it was really about wearing cultural regalia and celebrating that. I got to have fun with it and kept myself on my toes as well,” she said.

Zoë Modiga. Picture Supplied

Once a contestant in The Voice South Africa, the songwriter’s subsequent accolades include nominations at the South African Music Awards for best African album and best jazz album, as well as clinching the Standard Bank Young Artist for Music for 2023 award.

“I’m not just an artist who presents the modern African story, but also an artist that really speaks to a contemporary sound more than a particular genre of music,” she said.

“It’s never been about a particular sound that has informed what it is that I do, it’s really about the melting pot that is music and how that’s able to be expressed through my eyes and ears and my heart and through my perspectives as well.”

For her Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) repertoire she said she would be sharing some new music.

“We have been celebrating so many of the other eras with music lovers in the past year from my debut album, Yellow: The Novel, which actually did get to be debuted at the CTIJF quite a few years back, as well as my sophomore album, Inganekwane, which really was a love letter to the human experience and the black experience.

“Now we are here in this new era we have started the roll-out of a new album and have released a single called Ngelosi, as well as Amen.”

— CAPE TOWN JAZZ FEST (@CTJazzFest) March 22, 2024

Modiga said her new album would hopefully be released in time for her festival showcase.

She said the album was: “Exciting, beautiful, it’s inspired, it’s ceremonious, it’s cinematic. It is a whole wonder, and a whole world. And I’m happy to finally to be sharing it with people after four years.

“I’m not sharing the name of the album yet, let’s just say it’s one of my names. It’s really there to celebrate divine feminine energy and the nurturing spirit worlds that we all sometimes find ourselves seeking within ourselves, within the higher power, and within each other.

“Zulu storytelling is something that I believe that I walk in because I’m a singer, composer, and songwriter, and I like to also share the visual experience of my work.

“I never claim to have any answers with what I do, I just know that I am an artist that is curious that is constantly finding ways to document and reflect the times, and to be honest in how I express that.”

Weekend Argus