By Ayanda Dlamini | 2018-04-07
She oozes confidence on stage, dances likes it’s nobody’s business, touches many heart with her soulful sounds and beautiful voice, she is a go-getter. She has worked so hard to be where she is today. Symphony, she is here to stay.
Just when she recently dropped her debut album ‘Sengikhona’, she has won the first AfriMusic Song Contest competition for her song ‘Sengikhona’. Symphony will be jetting off to Lisbon Portugal, to attend the Eurovision Song Contest taking place on May 12. She will have the opportunity to promote her song, talent and country to Europe and the rest of the world.
Symphony (Zanele Cele) is an urban soul artist, raised with Godly ethics. Symphony is also a brand whose main objective is to empower, encourage and build other people especially young women using soulful sounds, beauty and fashion tips. There’s been a misconception around how Christians should look or dress, the Symphony brand aims to change people’s mindset concerning that and prove that beauty actually comes from God.
Symphony has an interesting vocal range, with a light, fresh, nibble top end, but also a powerful, gusty middle and bottom range.
“ That is something I’ve worked for. It’s a constant work out. Practice is key. I challenge myself a lot and try out new things every now and then. One important thing worth noting is that I taught myself to always sing live. Lip syncing is not something we artist should do at all. What has also helped me is singing in church. Most of my vocal growth comes from singing in church.
I enjoy the freedom of playing around with words. I love that I get to pour out my heart, put everything in my own words and melodies,” she tells L& E.
Mind you, she writes every single lyric of her songs. She gets inspiration from her life experiences and other people.
“Only one song in the album reflects my childhood ‘Thandi’, this is a song I dedicated to my mother. In this song I briefly talk about how as a child I always saw her as a super being. How she gracefully filled my late father’s void to the point where I forgot I didn’t have him in my life,”
‘Sengikhona’ was written as a response to her supporters who had been waiting for her harmony.
“It’s also an announcement to the world for my breaking or rather stepping into the industry.
“The song speaks about the fact that everything has it’s time season, how one mustn’t be afraid to let their light shine when that time has come.”
Winning the Afrimusic song contest has definitely been Symphony’s highlight not just in 2018 but in her whole career so far. She is currently working on getting an international passport and stunning outfits for her big day in Portugal.
“My look on stage is usually lihiya inspired. Sometimes I just play around with our Swazi flag colours. I feel like it stands out and commands attention even before I actually sing.”
Symphony’s album has a smooth soulful sound to it with 12 tracks. It was recorded and produced by Subjamz and mastered by Ziyawa. She wrote all the songs.
The message in her music is that of courage, empowerment and basically making people remember who they are. She believes that’s the greatest gift one could ever give to a person. “I am the sound track of my belief and faith and that is why I write my own songs.”
Balancing work, sisterhood is not a walk in the park
Symphony is managed by her sister Buyile Cele, the two are a true definition of family and sisterhood.
Buyile looks out for her younger sister in all aspects and tries as much as possible to ensure that they grow the brand Symphony in the entertainment industry locally and internationally.
“At home she is Zanele. She looks up to me too so the relationship is symbiotic. I think because l am both her professional manger and her sister our team is a double edged sword bonded by respect and love. We are invincible together. Although we at times have our mountains and mole hills the saying ‘Blood is thicker than water’ gets the better of us,” she tells L&E.
Balancing work and sisterhood is not a walk in the park as it seems. But the fact that they spend most of their time together has made the shift from one office to the other simple.
“ l believe the love and respect for one another cement us together. As her manager l would love to see her grow into an international artist and do my best to ensure that the brand is well packaged. As her sister, l’m her number one fan and l would love to see my baby sister make us proud so when all this is said and done the equation balances itself. We never take the family issues into the business and the business issues into the family, that line is bold.
Symphony is the introvert twin at home but on stage she is an extrovert. I think she found the way to express herself through music. I will be honest she surprises all of us when she is on stage. With the mic in her hand she is Symphony but at home she is the quiet and reserved Zanele. Fans sometimes feel she ignores them when they meet her off the stage but that’s the way she is reserved and soft spoken. She is a hard worker and literally spends her time devoted to her music. Because of that she gives me ample space to do the rest. She is a lovely sister and l love her. She is a talented artist and managing her is wonderful thing any sister in the world would trade anything to be in my shoes,” shares the older sister.
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