Nomina, the rising star of Amapiano music, has just released her latest single, ‘Rice’, which promises to be a hit with fans of the genre. The catchy track features the classic elements of South African music, with a mesmerizing flute section and an infectious melody line. But ‘Rice’ is more than just a dancefloor filler; it also carries a meaningful message delivered in English, Ndebele, and a touch of Chinese. Nomina aims to shift perspectives with her lyrics, reflecting on the hard work involved in producing the staple food of modern life. As she says, “It’s about turning lemons into lemonade.”
Nomina is an artist on the rise, with a diverse background that has taken her from Botswana to Germany, where she developed her voice performing in major musical productions. Since then, her career has gone from strength to strength, with hit singles, festival appearances, and collaborations with some of South Africa’s most famous musicians. Nomina is also an ambassador for World Peace Berlin and runs her own charity, the ‘Allrights Charity Association,’ as well has launched a food program to combat hunger in Zimbabwe. With an EP on the way, there’s no doubt that Nomina is an artist to watch in 2023 and beyond.
You have a unique blend of languages in your music, including English, Ndebele, and Chinese in ‘Rice’. Can you speak to the importance of incorporating diverse languages and cultures in your music?
I am an experimental artist, I love trying out different sounds but at the same time allowing myself not to lose my African sounds or rather elements. I love trying out different sounds and mixing different languages, that is why I blended in Chinese in this song, “RICE”.
You’ve had some incredible achievements in your music career, including reaching number one on the US Urban Radio Chart and performing at festivals. Can you share with us a standout moment or performance in your career so far?
That moment would have to be when I bagged a collaboration with my long-time crush, Sean Kingston, I’ve been a big fan and working with him was an amazing opportunity that birthed our newest release, a song titled “Closer To You” which is a dance fusion with an Afrobeat touch. I went all out with this song, trying something new out. Another moment should be when I released my very first trial Amapiano song, “Luthando Lo”, and when it soared the charts, stayed top 20 for a while, even number 1 on Radio for weeks long in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa at large even gaining millions of streams globally. This was indeed one of my proudest moments.
You have had several successful singles and have performed at various festivals. What do you think
sets you apart from other artists in the industry?
I believe what sets me apart from other artists in the industry is my unique sound and the language fusion that I enforce. I consider myself opportune to have experienced both the African and European way of living. This comes from me being born and raised in Southern Africa and going on to live in Europe for a while so I try to embrace both as I consider myself to be both.
Your latest single ‘Rice’ incorporates elements of the South African genre, Amapiano. How important is it for you to infuse your music with cultural influences?
It is important for me to fuse my music with cultural influences as I feel like the culture on its own has an impact on music so there would be no music without culture culture influences us in our creative aspect.
Outside of your music career, you’re involved in various charitable initiatives. Can you tell us more about the ‘Allrights Charity Association’ and the food programme #stophungerinzw?
I am very much involved in charity. It all started when I got nominated as the ambassador for World Peace Berlin incorporation with the United Nation for Germany. I initiated the food program stophungerinzw with World Peace Berlin. They found the initiative really great and helped me carry out the project. We started in Zimbabwe Plumtree with 2 elementary schools, one that I went to as a child that we were able to donate to 2021, that was a humbling experience.
I was hoping for a sustainable program, so I knew and understood that World Peace Berlin could not continue with the program since they have others that they are running in the world. I later on decided and managed to start my own association named Allrights Charity Association, which ran annual calls for donations which would, later on, be sent to my partners in Zimbabwe.
Your music features a fusion of different genres and cultures. How do you approach blending these elements together in your songwriting process?
In the year 2022, I was able to go and make a personal appearance and donate to the staff. I was also
happy to be accompanied by Sizo Health Organization based in Bulawayo. It was a memorable moment
I usually start with a melody or work on a beat in which I devise melodies from. This is where I naturally get ideas on what to fuse and how. However, it comes to the feelings and emotions of the song to what texture to go with.
Can you share a bit about your background and how your upbringing and experiences have influenced
I am a Motswana Zimbabwean artist based in Germany, I grew up with my parents and siblings in Gaborone, Botswana, I was born and attended my elementary school in Zimbabwe, Plumtree. All these, including my upbringing, influenced me to be the person I am today and have a powerful impact on how I create my music.
You’ve had a lot of success with your previous releases, such as ‘Amadlozi’, ‘Fetish Daddy’ and ‘Luthando Lo’. How does ‘Rice’ fit into your musical journey and what sets it apart from your previous work?
Rice is an exceptional song, it is outstanding. It has this Asian touch, both in the beat and lyrics. I must say I am really proud of how it turned out considering how I was really just trying my African sounds with Asian touch. The song really speaks to how we should appreciate the rice farmers for all their hard work.
Lastly, what message or feeling do you hope listeners take away from your music, especially withv’Rice’?
I would like my listeners to appreciate the song but also remember and appreciate those working days and nights for the global consumption of rice. Also, trying to move the distributor to buy as much as they can to create a livelihood for these farmers.