Rising star Ami Faku has a rich, soulful voice that beguilingly draws you in, even if you don’t understand the words.
Faku comes from Port Elizabeth and often sings in isiXhosa, but loves to explain the stories behind her music.
For her song Inde Lendlela (I’ve come a long way) the video shows a couple sitting in sad silence by a swimming pool. “It’s about relationships and feeling like you don’t want to let go, even though the person isn’t good for you. The reflection in the water allows me to reflect on myself and reflect on the pain I’m in,” she says.
Her songs certainly touch a nerve with those who hear them, with people sharing comments on social media about how her music has helped them to heal.
Her debut single, Imali, was released in 2018 and last year she had five different songs in the Top 100 on local radio stations. Music-streaming service Deezer named her its most popular South African female artist in 2019 and she’s among the top 10 most streamed female South African artists on Spotify.
Faku shares her personal life through her songs, which is why they’re so relatable. “When you are being real, there’s no one like you, and there’s so much power in that,” she says.
She first discovered she could sing at church, and auditioned for The Voice TV show. She didn’t win, but she made contact with a record label.
“The proudest moment in my life would be when I finally decided to challenge myself musically and audition for a singing competition,” she says. “If I didn’t challenge myself I would’ve been stuck in one place. My biggest mistake was not trusting my potential because of fear, which held me back from living my life to the fullest. Now I fear nothing.”