Candy Tsamandebele has released a new album independently. Photo: Supplied
Afro-soul songstress, Candy Tsamandebele has releases a new album titled ‘Still Here’ independently.
The 10-track album will be available for pre-order on digital music platforms from 30 March 2020. It will officially drop on the 10 April 2020. The album features Candy Tsamandebele’s regular collaborator, Bekezela with Skeem Saam actor Clement Maosa, Mafikizolo’s long time dancer Cedrick Tsongaboy, love songs maestro Henny C and Mr Brown.
Most of the songs in the abllbum are produced by renowned producer, Drum Pope. Afrikan Roots and newcomers Tshegofatso Mothapo and Fumani Mahlale also added their magic. Candy Tsamandebele was with the legendary independent record label, Kalawa Jazmee Records for many years before going independent. She says going independent was a natural move for her, with the social media growth in South Africa which makes it easier to market music directly to fans, and with a decline in CD sales, and an increase in music streaming.
The award-winning artist whose real name is Candy Mokwena, takes naming her albums very seriously. She partnered with Sony Music Entertainment and released her first album titled ‘Siki Five Cents’ in 2009. She then released ‘Easy Come Easy Go’ and ‘Hupenyu Unenge Viri’ with Kalawa Jazmee Records. “I needed help with distributing/licensing my debut album before Sony Music Entertainment agreed to partner with me through Mosekedi Entertainment, negotiations with other labels fell through as what was offered was not good at all. I decided to title the album Siki Five Cents and in it, I had lyrics like; why are you giving me just five cents…what am I gonna do with that – sung in Khelobedu. I was just saying respect my worth. Throughout that process as well I experienced a lot of highs and lows, even more so before recording Tsa Mandebele with Oskido.
“I came to understand what they meant with the saying; easy come easy go. So, my next album was titled Easy Come Easy Go. With my last album Hupenyu Unenge Viri, I just wanted to let everyone know that life is indeed like a wheel, you need to respect it. Media interviews while promoting this album always focused on whether I was still making music, which was quite interesting. On search engines and social media, the same thing was happening. I am still here, not just everywhere but where it matters, ” she says.
Candy Tsamandebele strongly believes that one becomes who they hang out with or who they constantly surround themselves with. Her constant engagement with both legends and newcomers in the music industry informed her decision to go independent. “Oscar, who is one of the few people who fully understand the state of the music industry in South Africa, is always giving advice formally and informally. He once said to me that as an artist you must fully understand what you are doing to avoid being frustrated, signed or not. and you must build and maintain relationships with useful people in and out of the music industry, as you are who you are because of people. He boosted my confidence; I will forever be grateful,” she adds.