SAMA (South African Music Awards) nominated Zoe Modiga, took some time out of her day to give us a heads up on what we can look forward to on her episode of Beyond the Sound, co-produced by Channel O and Red Bull Music, premiering Thursday 7 Feb at 9pm (CAT) on Channel O (DSTv 320).
Of course, Zoe is playing music in the background when I call her for our interview. Seems fitting for the illuminating songstress to constantly have some or another melody illustrating her life.
Zoe starts us off by giving me some context about her relationship with the colour yellow – the only colour you will probably ever see on her.
“I can take the relationship with the colour yellow as far back as Grade R!” she says with her a chuckle as light as the hue. “The significance of it comes from the rejection of the colour pink as a girl who also spoke to my feelings of sometimes feeling like an outcast where I couldn’t fit in, so the colour pays homage to the fact that the point is not to fit in.”
As a jazz scholar, though she does not consider herself an artist of the genre, Modiga believes that “jazz has and still impacts a lot of our cultural stories – many South Africans – have been trained through that style of music too – so it’s very important that it is celebrated as much as possible.” Something to note after sadly losing global jazz legend, Oliver Mtukudzi in January 2019.
Zoe is an alumni of the National School of the Arts (NSA) and has this to say about how the academy contributed to the kind of artist she is today. “We were very much encouraged to be confident people, so I think I really learned the value of being confident in what I had quite early on.”
Beyond the sound is a 13-part series that takes a deeper look at South African musicians and their colourful journey to fame. The show has already featured Nasty C, Dj Tira and Shane Eagle in its most recent episode. “Langa Mavuso had invited me to be a part of one of the Red Bull shows that happened last year featuring tributes to many local greats like TKZee – basically a celebration of the people before. That’s where my relationship with Red Bull began (at the show) after which they approached me to perform and be part of Beyond the Sound.”
Excited to be part of the live performance TV series, Zoe Modiga thinks “it was great project to be apart of and I appreciate that a lot of the people who were behind the scenes are celebrating young and emerging artists, it’s amazing that my peers who are dynamic influencers in the industry are being put on that kind of platform.”
Besides her majestic melodies, Zoe hopes that her performance will be a surprise for a lot of people. “I’m also excited to see what the feedback from viewers will be!”
Expect some new music this year from Zoe who is “actively creating!”