: The apposite opposite
Tseliso MonahengOn the back of her awe-inspiring self-funded, self-released debut, Zaki Ibrahim embarked on a tour withthe likes of South African band Tumi and the Volume, and Canadian (by way of Mogadishu, Somalia)troubadour K'naan. Dubbed '
The African Way tour
', it was hailed as somewhat of a success by fans andcritics alike.Clearly not one to rest on her laurels, Miss Ibrahim re-grouped, releasing her sophomore in 2008. Knownas '
Eclectica: Episodes in purple
', it symbolised a somewhat unobserved affinity towards colours and/orshades on her part (her debut EP two years earlier was called
Sho: Iqra in orange
).As she readies for her third effort,
, there is no denying that a lot has happened in herlife, none more obvious than her artistic achievements: Canadian Juno award nominee, performing onthe same platform as the likes of Erykah Badu, performing in front of an appreciative audience at theCape Town International Jazz festival...the list continues.Zaki is also somewhat of a globetrotter. Now based in South Afrika - presumably temporarily - she has,in the past year, been to Canada to perform with DJs Fresh and Nick Holder, made an appearance on thePatricia show in Kenya, and done a club date in London. In between, she found time to shoot the videofor '
', a gargantuan composition with vestiges of tribal house produced by Philadelphia-basedmusical extraordinaire King Britt. 'I had sent him some bits - sketches of vocals and melodies - and hebrought back this amazing song' she informs when asked about how the collaboration with thislegendary maestro, known mainly for his work in house music, came about.Much like the nomad that she is, Zakis forthcoming album boasts an impressive selection of producersfrom distant reaches; Kenya, London, and California are but some of the places to which she shall bemaking a musical pilgrimage. The album goes from one spectrum to the other, and Ive been working onit for a year and a half now she says.Her music deals with contrasting emotions and juxtapositions, successfully managing to defy genre-specific contextualisation in the process.During her live appearance at club Voom Voom in Cape Town recently (on the same bill as Fifth Floor),the vocal arrangements, the harmonies, and the benign subtleties in her sound came to life. She radiatesenergy, and her performance resembles a series of seismically climatic bursts. She intones, converseswith the crowd, hits high notes...all the while not forgetting why she does music: to share herself, andenjoy the process of it all.Zakis catalogue of songs bears testimony to a spirit that has seen and heard things. Jazz virtuoso Sun Rawas definitely not talking of people like her when he stated that
there are other worlds they have not told you of
; listening to compositions such as
, one is left with