South African-based singer-songwriter Moonga K is one of many artists whose careers the pandemic has disrupted.
Moonga K, known for his soulful voice and eclectic productions, released his first EP, Free, in 2017.
He has graced several stages, including Rocking the Daisies, OppiKoppi and Splashy Fen. This year however has meant very few live stages for anyone.
Moonga K held his first virtual concert on 10 September, and then performed at The Blooming Sounds from Joburg live stream this past weekend.
He shared his experiences on navigating the live music industry during a pandemic with the South African.
MOONGA K SPEAKS OUT
Q: Who is Moonga K?
A: I am a 24-year-old alternative R&B/soul singer-songwriter. I am passionate about eradicating gender-based violence and I love having conversations about life, liberty and love.
Q: You performed this past weekend at Blooming Sounds from Joburg. What was that like?
A: It was really fun! The Blooming Sounds team were incredibly kind to my band and me, from soundcheck to the actual performance so that was very comforting.
Being able to perform my new music with my band in a live music setting was also perfect.
We’ve been rehearsing online since lockdown, so to see it come together many months down the line was wonderful.
Q: How does it feel like to perform on stage without a live audience?
A: It’s a little strange because I love performing mostly because I feed off the energy from audience members.
But, even in rehearsals, we always perform like there’s someone watching us so I am used to feeling that energy, whether it’s physical or not.
Q: How is the pandemic affecting the live music industry?
A: A lot of my favourite venues have had to close down and festivals have had to postpone to 2021.
So that’s obviously put a strain on the income musicians and people behind the scenes make from gigging and touring.
Q: Are you getting any support from national or local arts and culture entities?
A: Unfortunately not, I have applied to a few, but did not receive any funding.
Q: With concerts now in flux, what have you needed to adapt to?
A: Prior to COVID-19, being part of festivals and shows was a much easier way to showcase my music.
Being locked in purgatory, having to use social media incessantly to get the music out there, is something I’ve had to make a habit.
WORDS FOR EMERGING ARTISTS
Q: What sets the emerging artist of this time apart?
A: We have the power and the privilege of the internet to spread our art far and wide. I think that’s an incredible tool we can use to our advantage.
Q: What is the perfect song to describe your journey in 2020?
A: There is a song that I love so much because it came on shuffle on my phone and the lyrics shot electricity through my body. I was so excited because I resonated with it. It’s called Still Sun and it’s by Obongjayar.
Q: What are you looking forward to in the future?
A: Releasing a lot of music that I’ve been working on, pre and post-pandemic! Thankfully, I was in a really creative space before we went into lockdown, so I carried that with me.
I’ve been so motivated by the music I’ve been writing and the video treatments I’ve been conceptualising with my friends, and people over social media.
Hopefully, when the world is back to normal, I can travel abroad and tour. That’s my biggest dream.