Interview: Skeem Saam’s Denga Takalani Talks About His Upcoming Gospel Album And More. You might have seen his face on two of the biggest television soapies in SA, Skeem Saam and Generations: The Legacy but the double threat newcomer is ready to touch hearts with his new gospel album ‘Seasons’ set to be released this Friday.
We sat down with Denga Takalani to get to know him as an artist, his hopes and plans for his music and acting career and why everyone needs to listen to this new album. Check out what he had to say.
1. How would you describe Denga the artist?
He is fun to be around, loving, creative, out of the box thinker, he loves what he does and who he does it for
2. How would you describe your sound?
It is relevant sound for this generation and people who are young at heart.
3. What’s the story behind the album title?
In 2015 I lost my brother in law over a car crash. September 2016 I lost my grandmother and in November 2016 I lost my father. I got the inspiration of writing my “Seasons” album after burying my father.
4. What was the process of writing and recording the album like, any challenges?
The process had me in an emotional roller-coaster because I had to be extremely vulnerable and put my heart into every song. And sometimes I’d feel like God is not speaking to me until He puts a song in my heart. So there was a lot of patience with the writing process. – I had financial challenges in the beginning because I’m not signed, especially this year in April when I decided to leave my banking job to pursue music, radio and acting full time. But God came through for me. I have people who contributed financially to make sure that I finish this project and I’m forever grateful for that.
5. What can we expect from the album, any collaborations?
I featured Tondi Rams on a beautiful mid-tempo praise song called Forever You Are Good, it’s actually a fave at the moment hahaha. I featured a multi award winning Gospel artist, Takie Ndou on a song called Upside Down and I also featured CJay on a beautiful song called Praise Him. – There’s a song called “Memeza(Let it Out) which is very close to my heart. I wrote this song to encourage men to stand against women and children abuse and to encourage ladies to speak out if they are being abused. I feel like the “church” doesn’t like engaging on this topic and we end up losing people because some churches protects pastors and leaders who are abusing women and children. So, I thought I should release this song with my debut album to encourage churches, organizations and any person to stand against this issue and have constructive conversations on how we can protect our women and how we can educate our young boys and men to genuinely love and protect our women. I feel like the “church” globally, can help change this nation if they jump on board.
6. What do you wish to achieve with this album?
So many people give up on life because of the situations they can’t control such as death of family members or losing something they love unexpectedly. This album is for those who are hurting and giving up. My prayer is that this offering will encourage someone out there to hold on and to believe that God is always working behind the scenes and turning things for our good. And in all Seasons of life, God is good!
7. Where did you draw your inspiration from whilst making ‘Seasons’?
Life experiences and moments with God during my Bible study time.
8. What inspires your music?
Life, God, Pure and Genuine worship.
9. Who would be your dream collaborator?
Tauren Wells. I really love his music and how he just loves people and what he does. Really inspiring!
10. At what age did you know that you wanted to make a career out of making music?
Since the beginning. I always knew that I just want to sing. So I’d say after recording my first single when I was 14 years old.
11. What has been your biggest music career achievement so far?
Being able to give people hope through my music. It has always been about God and people so simple things like receiving testimonies about how my music is touching lives, makes me feel like I’m achieving a lot everyday. Also, I won an INGOMA award for my Upside Down music video so that was humbling.
12. Where would you want to see your music career in 5 years?
I’d like to see myself as one of the most influential young Gospel artist across the African continent and the world because I feel like I have something great to contribute.
13. What else can we look forward to from you in the near future?
A live CD/DVD recording and more acting roles on local TV shows.
14. Any advice for up and coming artists out there?
Protect your dream. Don’t allow the noise outside to take away the God dream in your heart. And stay focused.
15. How did you end up acting on Generations The Legacy and what is your role on Skeem Saam?
I can only credit God’s grace for getting me a role on Generations The Legacy. After I left my job in earlier this year, I contacted an agency I knew to represent me with my acting career and they told me that they were only representing background actors at the moment and I was like cool, I don’t mind starting from the bottom. One day while I was waiting in the “Extras waiting room”, I got called by the directors. They asked me to take off my hat and my glasses and they said YES! that’s the look we are looking for! They explained the role and the rest is the history. So God hand picked me from all the other background actors who were there at that day
-I am a doctor on Skeem Saam. Probably one of the most amazing characters I get to play.
16. How can people connect with you?
Twitter : Kingdmusic
YouTube : Kingdmusic