From the shores of the 3rd largest city in South Africa; radiates a 22 year old, Durban born singer and songwriter, poised to make the world her own. Moneoa is a dancer by profession; but has followed her heart to singing, after her family and friends made her realize that her voice glides across chords as swiftly as her feet through a detailed choreography. Her voice is paradoxically chilling, yet soothing and her music is an interesting blend of afro pop/neo-soul delivered through a rare, vulnerable emotional catharsis.
Befittingly her debut album is titled “Coming from Going to” and her storytelling lyrical style is jetted from track 1 to 14 by producers like Vusi Ndlovu from Odeum Music; Beatmaker & Dan Joffe from King and I; Rawknait from RawkCity UK; Nick Holder / Da Capo from DNH Records and Binary Boys from Voodoo Collective.
Moneoa’s musical influences are as rich and broad as her range, scaling from Thandiswa Mazwai and Jill Scott to Beyoncé and Aretha Franklin. She is a true musical talent with a distinguishably raspy voice that floats effortlessly on tracks and satiating purposeful lyrics that exude “Life and Meaning.
Her album will be in nationwide stores on July 16. The album includes a variety of slow, mid-tempo and up-tempo songs with a stronger inclination to slow and mid-tempo. Moneoa covers a broad variety of topics that are notably taken from personal experience as she presents most of her stories in the first person.
An example of such a song is “Mama” where she prays to God to grant her mother, her heart’s desires. She describes her admiration for her mother’s love and strength and elucidates a particularly touching moment in her life, when her mother attended her show and proudly proclaimed, “that’s my baby”; Moneoa jovially sings about how glad that moment made her in the song.
Moneoa also covers the subject of love elaborately with its many shades; an example is in the song “So Special”, where love is something that is beautiful and used as an emotion describing somebody special to her.
A different shade is when one is sometimes a fool for love, like in the track “Is’Bbhanxa” Moneoa explains her disappointment at being in love with a guy who is, well…’just really not that into her‘.
Her strong storytelling ability is displayed the strongest in a narrative she sings with male vocalist Shatti – the ballad is deeply intimate; telling the story of a man who has been trapped in a dark place looking for the right lady to light up his life. He evinces his belief in Moneoa being that light and looks optimistically at a future with the lady he loves. Moneoa obliges precariously to the idea, but not without holding him to a promise to handle her fragile heart with care. Their past experiences help them understand each other’s pain, and thus lend themselves to a dedication to loving each other wholly. Through his love Moneoa believes that her pain can be healed and that she can be lifted.
Another shade of love is the heartache it can bring, like in the song “Pretty Disaster” where Moneoa describes how “love won’t let me go” as it is both a “beautiful factor” and “Pretty Disaster” that keeps her suspended on the hope of its flickering light.
The album truly takes you through a rich array of emotions and relatable life experiences that record a journey of joy, pain and most importantly growth.