I first heard of Netsayi in summer 2006 when I was invited to a tiny private acoustic gig in the basement of a restaurant in London to launch her first album. She held the room spellbound with just her voice stripped back and bare, with an emotion ringing through her words which you rarely hear. I could understand why comparisions have been made to Joan Armatrading and Nina Simone.
She’s a Zimbabwean singer-songwriter, who was born a refugee in London during the Zimbabwean chimurenga (war against apartheid). After independence she was raised in Harare, the capital city.
She grew up in a musical household and the soundtrack to her childhood was diverse – traditional songs and local pop competing with reggae, soul and folk. All these genres have influenced Netsayi's own writing, a style she has christened 'Chimurenga Soul'.
Netsayi has opened for some of the most respected stars of Afro-jazz, soul, blues and hip hop (like Hugh Masekela, Omar, Boubacar Traore and K'Naan) and appeared live in session across the BBC radio network (including a prestigious Radio 1 'Peel session').
Her latest album, Monkeys’ Wedding came out in September, and she is at the end of a British tour at the moment.
You can listen to her on Myspace here