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Our August Cover Star, Shekhinah opens up about her evolution

Our Women’s Month Issue Cover Star, and award-winning singer- songwriter, Shekhinah continues to capture the attention of global brands and audiences. Here she chats unapologetically taking up space, representation, self-care, and her message for Women’s Month.

Whilst most artists were finding their voice in the industry, she cemented herself with Rose Gold, which earned her multiple nominations and awards, including Newcomer of the Year, Album of the Year and Female of the Year at the 24th South African Music Awards (SAMAs).

Her experience of the entertainment industry has been nothing short of amazing. “I’ve lived, laughed and seen the world at such a young age, but I’m nowhere near where I see myself in the future, and that excites and challenges me. I hope to be in the entertainment industry for as long as I can.” And she says her come up is one of her biggest highlights. “I think, looking at where I am now, I’m so proud of myself for going through everything I did without knowing for sure it’d lead me here.”

Her lessons? “I’ve learnt to always take it slow, to not rush anything, which means trusting the process and the dream, and allowing things to happen as organically as possible for the most peaceful and rewarding outcomes.” She also notes that although the industry has made strides in terms of female representation, there’s still a long way to go, “but, so far so good. I want to tip the scale, even if its for a short while, and allow females to be the common denominator.”

As she continues to make waves with her chart-topping music, she says her approach to occupying space in 2022 is to be a boss babe unapologetically. And “embrace me and allow my TLs to reflect less of a highlights reel and more of a real-life one. It’s to shine in whatever way feels right in the moment.”

Self-love is a dominant theme in her journey. She’s evolving as a woman and an artist. This sparks my curiosity about her approach to self-care. “It involves spending time alone, any¬where, anyhow, which I often find uncomfortable, as I love noise, but self-care means allowing myself to be still and let my monkey mind relax for a moment.”

Taking time out allows her to bring her A-game when the stage lights go on, ensuring she brings out every shade of Shekhinah in the best possible way. What else does this speak to? “Trying to honour the detail, I guess, and putting time and effort into the small things. And, honestly, keeping people around me who see me and challenge me to be better. I couldn’t do it alone; they’re essential to what I do and who I am today.”

The star has captured the attention of brands, including the global eyewear brand Sunglass Hut. “This collaboration has been a thing since the beginning of my career, but its ‘Find Every Shade of You’ campaign is the biggest thing I’ve ever done with them. I look forward to more collaborations with the amazing team that made that happen.” Her favourite shades? “My Celines are my fave! They have a funky cat’s-eye shape that I live for, whether on a hike, on stage or being cool at my local Woolies. I’m always wearing them!”

And she says the role of shades in her life depends on the season. “In summer, I need them for daytime performances on stage, and in winter, I’ve been experimenting with using them as an accessory instead of eye care. I love a pair of shades at night – big rule-breaker energy!” Considering Sunglass Hut curates luxury and lifestyle eyewear, this also speaks to her approach to brand alignment. “My art is lifestyle-inspired, ‘Diamonds Do’, from Trouble in Paradise, speaks to young women’s desires to be showered with luxuries, such as diamonds and love.”

Inspired by everyday life, she says our shared experiences, fears and fantasies always make for the best storytelling through song. “When curating a song or body of work, it always has to align with where I am in my life or where I was when I wrote that particular song – it has to be authentic.”

She affirms that as the world continues to shift, music is there to guide emotions or even help contextualise them. “We don’t always have the words, but songs help us find them. Music is therapy, inspirational and entertaining. I think that with the shifts and changes, it’s cool to see platforms such as TikTok encourage and inspire more people to make music or even share it.”

As we commemorate Women’s Month, she notes that women in this country have overcome so much, and her wish is that “we’ll always stand together and support each other whilst continuing to be the queens we are. Let’s look out for those younger than us and honour each other, not only this month but throughout the year. We are more than what meets the eye, our beauty goes beyond the surface, and our softness and vulnerabilities aren’t weaknesses but a super-power.”

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