Q & A: The Fabulous Miss Noni Zondi


Noni Zondi Interview2_b

African Queen: Noni Zondi

She is cool, she is feisty and she is gifted. Noni Zondi is the lady everyone should be talking about.  A London based lady, coming out of South Africa, Noni comes out as confident, courageous and of course curvaceous. It was an honour for Noni to allow diasporaw.net to sit down with her and talk about her world.

The very humble Noni was happy to open up about her world and a bit about what is coming up. Following her single Come Get It and a feature on a song as part of UK/African collective Big Boyz All Stars and Nigerian rapper Ice Prince Zamani, Noni went quiet, while trying to reconstruct her path.  The questions and answers below will help you understand a bit more about who Noni is and where she is going.

Can you tell those who don’t already know, who Noni Zondi is?

Noni: Noni Zondi is a musician and entertainer, an all round entertainer. Noni Zondi is a female rapper. I’ve been known to dive into Afrobeatz. Some would say I do Afrobeatz but the initial sound is Hip-hop, worked with a lot of people, hahaha, from the Hammersmith Appolo to the O2. I have worked alongside people like P-Square, D’Banj, worked alongside Ice-Prince. Yaah! That’s Noni to the Zondi

So, who is your inspiration overall?

Noni: Musicallly who do I look up to?

Yes

Noni: Oh my God, it’s a  whole collage of people. It’s like, i like old school artists. In terms of  like South Africa, i really appreciate the way, this group called Boom Shaka used to perform, with high energy and all that.

Wow, that’s Old School

Noni: That’s really old school. I still vybe to the music, you know. I’m just saying, they used to put on a show and when I was young I used to look and say, wow!

That’s cool that’s great.

Noni: But then, musically, it’s anybody from, the obvious you know, Nicki Minaj to even Beyonce, Rihanna all the contemporary stuff.


When did you move across to the UK?

Noni: When I was about 10.

Right, I don’t know how old you are, but from how you look, it should have been about 2 years ago? Haha

Noni: Hahaha! Maybe 3, I don’t know. It was a few years ago, a lil bit more than 10 years ago.

Ok, that’s good enough

Noni: Hahaha!…It’s less than 15 years ago.

Have you been back since?

Noni: Yeah!, I go back to visit every ever so often.

What do you miss most about Africa?

Noni: Oh my God, just the opulence. The vibe, the environment.

What do you mean the enviroment?

Noni: Ummm, it’s just the difference that you find. Ummm, I’m from Soweto, so you know…

Ho ho ho ho

(Everyone laughs)

Noni: He said ho

Lookin Fab: Noni

Lookin Fab: Noni

That’s the ghetto Soweto right?

Noni: Yah that’s the hood. Nah nah nah, I’m from Soweto, so you know, I think I know all kinds of different areas is South Africa. In Cape town, my mum’s got a house in Constantia. My grandma is from Soweto, which is where I grew up. So it’s just like all those different things about it, it’s so diverse.

Yeah, Let’s talk about the music. In Come Get iIt, You say “you don’t seek attention you get attention”.

Noni: I don’t! (Laughs excitedly)

Hahaha. Yeah

Noni: I just don’t seek attention. Do you know how that came about. Actually people say Come Get It was a sexual song. Come Get It was not meant to be a sexual song. When we started making the song, it was meant to be about, you know like when you are just there, and. Ok, you are a guy, you don’t understand. She is a lady, she understands (gesturing at my assistant). Sometimes guys just flock you, they just surround you so much that, you don’t even get the chance to, you know,…scope, and see what you like. So, initially it was suppose to be about, you sing to the guy that likes you…to come n get it, but not in a sexual manner. Then we got carried away, then it just became a whole thing.

Hahaha, so you get the wrong attention?

Noni: No no, it’s like if I walk into a club or sum’n…I’m really being modest right now, haha. If I walk into a club, like so much guys will just be, hey hey hey, let me holla at you. You know, I don’t even get the, you know, can I at at least you know?…(with a cheeky face), can you give me that chance please?


I wanna check out the place before you rush into me, is that what you mean?

Noni: Yeah, but then again, there (in the song), I was cocky with it.

I love that video tho, to be honest.

Noni: Ahhhh, thank you.

For the right reasons tho.

Noni: Alright, that’s what I like to know. Haha 

Last time I checked you were with JJC’s Big Boyz Entertainement, are you still with them?

Noni: No, my contract recently ended.

So who are you with at the moment?

Noni: Right now, I’m just under management, I’m not signed

How was that relationship with JJC and company?

Noni: It was great! It was like one big fat family. I’ve never met someone like him. He is so talented. You know sometimes you can get carried away but with me n him, we got each other. If you look at Come Get It, the video and the Se n Gbomi Dada video featuring 2 Kriss and Ice Prince . This one bit where I come in (in Se n Gbomi video). In my head I knew what I wanted it to look like (her bit), and then obviously he was editin it. It’s like we are telepathic with things like that, without even knowing…by the time I came back he had edited it and I said, oh my God, how did you even know that was meant to be my entrance. Even Come Get It, he directed it, I was there every step, like when I say, I don’t like this, he is so patient. He was just like, alright then, like he literally made me sit down and said write down all the things you don’t like, all the things that you like to get rid of, dadadada. We get on, we work well together.

You are here with the great Oyinbo, DJ Jam Jam, how do you two get along?

Noni: Yes, I’m with 2-Kriss, and DJ Jam Jam Oyinbo Swagga, yoooo! Haha

 How do you two get along? (her and Jam Jam)

Noni: Me and Jam Jam? Jam Jam got me my first gig, haha. So you know, he brought me in that way, you know. He just said Noni, I’ve got a gig in Glasgow, let’s go, they wanna see you. He rang me, first time he rang me, we clicked, we were on the phone for 45 minutes just bouncing ideas n all that. That’s like my industry brother.

In terms of Afrobeatz, what do you think the future is like? We’ve got got people like Fuse going on among many others.

Noni: In terms of Afrobeatz, I was having that conversation the other day. I’m sorry, I’m gonna bore you slightly. Umm, I think it’s a good move goin on right now, but I just think that, sometimes artists need to be careful how they craft their Afrobeatz and still kind of stick to the originality of Afrobeatz. Obviously mix it up a lil bit for it to become mainstream to take it to like, Oliver Twist, you know that kind of status. Anyway, I think, just like Hip-hop it’s not a fad. It’s actually a culture. Because with Afrobeatz comes the language, comes the food, comes the, you know the fashion. So it’s actually a culture, it’s a movement. If executed properly, you know, the future is bright. I’m excited.

Looking out: Noni

Looking out: Noni

That’s good, positivety.

Noni: It’s looking good right now, Fuse Antenna number 7, hello! Oliver Twist number 9, hello! Now Oliver Twist in America, hello!

So, apart from Afrobeatz, what other music do you listen to?

Noni: Everything, when I say everything I mean everything. Hip-hop, Electro music. I be fist pumping and everything, hahaha, in the club. Soul, House, you name it, as long as the sound is good, I’m on it. You know, my sound is eclectic.

Who are your biggest African icons, you mentioned you respect Boom Shaka quite a lot?

Noni: Ummm,there is this guy called, let me spell it for you H-a-s-h-i space E-l-i-m-h-l-o-p-e, Fela, Nigerian artist, ummm

What? Fela?

Noni: Yah, Fela Kuti, hahaha I’m a big fan of Fela. Oh my God, Brenda Fassie, put her in there please and of course, the biggest of all, Nelson Mandela. I’ve got so many icons, will fill the whole A4 paper.

Now that you mentioned Brenda Fassie, I was at Iyanya’s concert, a couple of nights ago and heard a Brenda Fassie song before Iyanya’s performance.

Noni: Really, which one, Vulindlela? (She sings) “Vulindlela!” She was a legend.

Yeah, yes, she was a star. I don’t know but something going on with her, all the time.

Noni: No, she passed away.

Yeah I know, but there was always something goin on. She was always controversial.

Noni: Yeah, she was like…the Rihanna of South Africa.

With the bald head and all that.

Noni: She used to just, rock whatever, do whatever that she wanted. You know, she was free-spirited like that.

How about Tata, Nelson Mandela, you also mentioned his name?

Noni: I know, he’s ill right now. I don’t know man, he’s grown. He’s 94, I hope he gets better,  I honestly do from the bottom of my heart coz that man changed everything as it is today. My heart goes out to the family. The whole nation is mourning right now. He is like the…I wouldn’t even say the South African father, he is the African father.

True but let’s divert a little bit. What have you got to say about Nicki Minaj’s assets? I have to ask you this because you are one gifted African woman, and on the other hand she is…

Noni: She is? Hahaha

Curvy: Noni

Curvy: Noni

I don’t know, people have said a lots of things, for example, people have said, she is made up.

Noni: Ohhh, that’s different, she’s made up, hahaha. Ok, what have I to say about her assets? Who am am I to say anything about her assets, it’s the assets of her. Haha, as long as it looks good who cares.

Hahahaha! That’s a really good comment. So you definitely have nothing to say at all?

Noni: It’s the assets of her, it’s not the assets of Noni. It’s the assets of Nicki Minaj.

We know that “Come get it” was your last single and you kind of went on a hiatus for a bit, what have you got in store for your fans now?

Noni: Well, I took some time off to just, as they say put my house in order. Haha. I’ve been working, even tho I’ve been quiet, I’ve been working, tryn to get everything else sorted out. Ummm. I’ve got a track, with…obviously you know him, with D-Black, Ghanaian artist. He’s got a track called Vera, we are doing a remix for Vera, with a UK artist and another Nigerian artist. I’ve got tracks of my own, coming out in literally 8 weeks time, so I’m so excited. There are a few big African artists that will be featured, so obviously, I can’t disclose as of yet.

That’s alright. So today, which artist would you like to collaborate with? I mean, someone that you think you would form a good synergy with and create some magic.

Noni: My God. Ummm, the thing is, I’m quite versatile so I could work with anybody. If I had to pick anyone that I think……well I’ve already got D-Black, but I think someone that could complement my style would be someone along the lines of D’Banj.

Why?

Noni: Just coz of his vibe….hahaha

What are your last words, what have you got to say to your fans before we close?

Noni: First and foremost thank you, thanks to you guys, diasporaw dotnet, did I say it right, diasporaaaw dotnet? And everyone else supporting, I know I’ve been quiet. I get quite shocked when people still holler at me. I’ve been quiet for like almost a year and they are still like, hey Noni, when is the next song out. That’s the type of thing that keeps me going. I really do appreciate that. Keep supporting, I’ve got so much in store like, I’ve cooked up, 80 percent loaded.

Really, thank you. It was an honour.

 

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