Nomfundo Ngcobo, often known as Nomfundo Moh, is surprised by her quick ascent to fame. The Zulu expression Ngiswele amagama, from which her album’s name Amagama is derived, means “I’m at a loss for words.” The 21-year-old singer, whose gold-certified breakthrough single Phakade Lami is one of the biggest South African hits of 2022 so far, says she is “short of words to explain how grateful I am to everyone who’s been part of my journey, supporting me.”
Ngcobo made his debut at the tail end of the decade, appearing on a number of house hits. None were as significant as Phakade Lami, but it was a good beginning for her trip. The song Inkomo Zam from amapiano general De Mthuda’s debut album The Landlord from 2021 was where she made her most well-known appearance.
Over nine million people have watched the music video for Phakade Lami, a song about missing the love of one’s life, on YouTube as of right now. The song has South African music royalty Ami Faku and Sha Sha flanking the challenger for rookie of the year as they alternately sing about how much they miss their loved ones.
A poignant tale, Phakade Lami’s story was created in the midst of the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. Ngcobo admits that he was surprised by the teamwork. She put the song on hold after finishing the hook and her verse. “But then, without telling me, my team went all out and contacted uSis Ami and uSis Sha Sha, who were eager to join the song since they knew who I loved and looked up to. They therefore wrote their portions, recorded them, and gave the song to me as an early birthday present in July of last year, according to the woman.
Ngcobo was introduced to Ami Faku and Sha Sha for the first time on the day of the video shoot, and she brightens as she recalls the unforgettable experience. “[The song] made me feel like a star,” she claims. “Because, before anyone else told me, I always thought I was a star. And now that they have witnessed my development in front of their eyes, I feel as though everyone else is also beginning to agree with me.
The budding artist admits that since she began pursuing a career in music, she has had to put up with negative remarks from skeptics. She claims that many people had trouble believing that she would finally succeed due to her physical attributes.
The diminutive singer responds to the passive body-shaming with a tasty Afro-pop song in which she expresses her fatigue at having her aspirations questioned. In other words, I’m truly saying that I’m going to succeed despite my stature, who I am, and where I come from.
Amagama is a captivating personal introduction to the singer’s world because the most of the album was written by her, and Ngcobo claims that she choose to write largely about experiences rather than perceptions. Her writing prowess is also shown in the album’s title. The second meaning of Amagama, in addition to being at a loss for words, is the literal translation: “words,” i.e. lyrics, as Ngcobo has frequently stated.
She explores a variety of topics, including love and envy in her lyrics (Umona), self-love in Nginjena), aspiration in Soft Life), contentment in Kuhle, and ending a one-sided relationship (Shintsha). She sings about her late grandma, whom she referred to as “mama,” in the song Isandla Sikamama. Ngcobo talks kindly of the matriarch of her family and acknowledges that she was spoilt by her since she was never afraid to demonstrate her love and assurance.
Revelation, the album’s opening poem, was written and performed by childhood friend Magcina Kanina. She is quite familiar with me, so I knew she would fulfill my request, adds Ngcobo.
A cozy comfort listen, Amagama features Ngcobo’s soulful voice gliding over shimmering synthesizers and pads. NaXion Cross, who Ngcobo has been working with since she started recording as a student at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, has handled the majority of the project’s production. She recently earned her social work degree from the college, a career she claims improves her writing.
On the album Amagama, NaXion Cross is featured on a few songs, including the most recent track, Ngam’ketha, which also includes a verse by Durban rapper Beast RSA about how captivated he is with his chosen one.
Finding her voice
Ngcobo was created in the small village of Ndwedwe, Kwazulu-Natal. She claims she hails from a musical family and recalls happy times spent singing together, despite the fact that none of her family members have pursued careers as musicians. She claims, “We sung all the time.” If you were just passing by, you might even think there was a special event.
Ngcobo participated in the school chorus and used to take talent shows and singing competitions seriously. She would sing at family events as well, enjoying the reactions in each situation. “All the encouraging comments I received encouraged me to the point where, around 2016, I made the decision to begin writing my own songs. I decided to try my hand at writing instead of doing covers. She frequently attended open mic nights on campus after starting college in 2019, which is how she eventually met NaXion Cross.