Moonchild Sanelly: My new album has a song for the side chick

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With somewhat revealing outfits in her music videos, at performances and on social media, the ‘Yebo Mama’ hitmaker demonstrates that it takes a strong woman to attain independence. Moonchild knows what people expect a successful woman to look like, but gives no quarter when expressing her views on female empowerment and sexuality. On her latest album Phases(link is external), Moonchild stands tall by breaking social norms and boundaries.

Music In Africa spoke to Moonchild, who is the pioneer of her self-coined genre “future ghetto punk”, about her 19-track album, her image, the objectification of women in music, and how her sound is perceived outside Africa.

MUSIC IN AFRICA: What message are you sending in Phases and what inspired the project’s title?

MOONCHILD SANELLY: This album basically celebrates every shade of women. For instance, if there’s a woman who feels mad and it evokes the feeling of them being a stalker, you will call them a stalker. But for women on their own, they will be like, ‘I know what that motherfucker made me feel like’, and actually on this record, it’s acceptable. It’s fine because we are different. We go through different phases as women in general, and therefore every part is actually okay. That’s why on the album I celebrate the side chick. I’ve got a song for a side chick to get her mac on a married man. I’ve got nothing to do with the marriage; I’m being realistic about what we are as women and our choices.

Strippers! I love strippers. I’ve got everything to do with strippers, and I love celebrating them. I love them getting what’s due to them because the girls are working and they’re actually so smart. They’re always working towards something but society deems it as nothing. I celebrate sadness, I celebrate happiness, I celebrate us in different shades. I always say this, ‘It’s already an adventure sport being a woman.’ This album does not celebrate women’s success based on societal expectations. My themes are the general liberation of women and having a voice all the time.

What differentiates your previous album Rabulapha! from Phases and what have you improved on musically?

The difference is, I was not this big and I’m now in a position where I’ve come full 360 commercially. My fans, from whenever they decided to be fans, are all included in this body of work. What I’ve always wanted to do is ultimately bring people to know exactly who I am. And this is the person who’s not necessarily just strategic, because I study markets; I move accordingly and that’s why I‘m always on radio stations around the world. The people who know me from Rabulapha! are the alternative kids – it’s the different kids, the black sheep, the ones who just want to do their own thing, the expressive ones, the individuals … There are those who know I never stopped. I’ve always done things for my soul and my business. That’s my sole business. This album is everything I’ve ever worked towards. This is my sound.

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