Singer and songwriter Shekhinah does not mind challenging the status quo if only to demonstrate that embracing ‘otherness’ and remaining authentic is paramount to the human creative experience.

Shekhinah Thandi Donnell (24), better known as Shekhinah, hails from Durban and has fought against all odds to claim her place within the competitive South African music scene.

She emerged as the most prominent winner during the South African Music Awards(SAMAS) which were held at Sun City, after she bagged the Best Album of the year, for her Album, Rose Gold, Best Female Artist of the Year and the Best Newcomer of the Year.

But, speaking to The Young Independent, she concedes the road has not been easy, especially when looking back at her unsuccessful attempt to win Season 7 and 8 of the M-Net’s SA Idols in 2011 and 12.

“Not winning an award can be demotivating, especially, when you know you have put everything in it. I did not allow that to demotivate me. Instead, it spurred me to work even harder. I wish the same to all other singers out there – that they must never despair if their initial attempt did not yield the desired results. They must learn to use demotivation to motivate themselves.”

Good pickings have come from all angles for Shekhinah, as she recently graduated with a degree in Live Performance. Also, in January this year, her debut album Rose Gold was certified gold by RiSA.

Far from being complacent, Shekinah says she is working hard to establish her musical career in South Africa and on international stages. In October this year, she will embark on a Three Cities Tour of Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg to promote her album.

The album is laden with a divergent flavour of R&B and pop tracks such as “Different”, “Into the Jungle”, “Power To She” and others.

The album features three talented artists namely Asali, Mariechan (a former member of the all-female music group, Jamali) and rising rapper Rogue.

She looks up to legends in the music industry such as Black Coffee, Miguel and J Cole.

Shekhinah says she draws strength from her family, who have supported her musical ambition since she was five-years-old. She also gives credit to Sony Music for playing a pivotal role in the sales and distribution of her album.

Going up✨.

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