„Aaaah Germany! I could live in Germany“
(Autorin/ Editor: Nadja Krupke)
Die Top-Musikerin Lira gab ihre Karriere als Wirtschaftsprüferin auf, um die südafrikanische Gesellschaft mit ihren eigenen künstlerischen Interpretationen zu bereichern und Gefühle greifbar zu gestalten. Lira sieht die Musik als Zufluchtsort, den der Mensch braucht, um Erfahrungen und Realitäten zu verarbeiten. Inspiriert wird sie zum Beispiel von Ikonen wie Nelson Mandela und Oprah Winfrey, die ein enormes soziales Engagement bewiesen haben. Ihr neues Album soll Hoffnung, Geborgenheit und Glück versprühen, sagt sie. Negative Eigenschaften, die den Alltag prägen, will sie mit ihrer Musik bekämpfen und den Seelen der Menschen eine Pause gönnen. Lira wurde in Deutschland schon mehrfach vom Publikum herzlich empfangen – ob in Stuttgart, Berlin, Würzburg, Frankfurt oder Konstanz. Die Sängerin schätzt Deutschland sehr und könnte hier sogar leben, sagt sie. Ihr großes Ziel für die Zukunft ist es aber in den USA ihren Durchbruch als Musikstar zu schaffen und anderen südafrikanischen Künstlern Hoffnung auf internationalen Erfolg zu ermöglichen.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome the singer Miss Lira on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German gateway to South Africa . You started your career towards the business world. Why did you choose to study Internal Auditing and Financial Accounting?
Answer: It came about because Accounting was my favourite subject at school. I was not allowed to study music as my parents felt that it would be wiser to have something more “solid” to fall back on. A career in finance seemed logical because I enjoyed accounting and Business studies as subjects.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: When first did you realize that you were born to sing and not sit behind a desk and what was the essential reason for you to give up everything you knew and to go in a completely different direction?
Answer: Growing up I saw the power of music at work among my family members and within my South African community. The elders would play music night and day and I observed what it could do to a people, but did not understand how. There were songs of struggle that seemed to give words to what people were feeling but could not articulate. It seemed to comfort those who could not express their pain. It seemed to give people an escape from their undesired reality. I was intrigued by this and wanted to be able to do the same – – make people feel that they could express their emotions when my music played.
When I was an undergraduate student, studying accounting I used my skills to exchange for recording time at a local studio. I had my first demo at the age of 18. When I graduated, I continued in accounting for a couple years. But soon turned in my letter of resignation and created a five-year plan for my music career. My mother made it kind of easy for me because she said “well since you have something to fall back on I’d rather have you happy”. So in those initial days, my mother was the motivation I needed. It helps when a parent is open to the idea of you pursuing your dreams.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Since you have devoted your life to music, you have been extremely successful, where do you get your inspiration?
Answer: I’m inspired by so much – Nelson Mandela and Oprah are at the top of my list. I am inspired by the fact that these two individuals have done so much with their lives and impacted so many. I recently was moved by Steve Jobs achievements in a similar way. I’m also inspired by observing people going about their lives and by my own life experiences.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What are your messages you wish to utter through your music?
Answer: The music upbeat, it’s a real feel good album. I want listeners to feel great when listening to it. I know life is tough and the global economy places people is an uneasy space… my music brings messages of hope, comfort, celebration. It’s meant to make you feel good through all of life’s trials and tribulations. I think there’s enough negativity out there in the world and I have no desire to add to it. People seek solace in music and I want mine to be an uplifting experience. We’ve all gone through hardships and we have had to overcome a lot. My music stand’s out because it focuses on the possibilities of life.
Lira in concert during World Cup 2010: Pata Pata composed by Miriam Makeba
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Do your songs capture a certain reality that is found in South Africa ?
Answer: I’ve noticed that some of my perceptions are influenced by my South Africa upbringing, which is the experience of apartheid, the transition into a democratic government and then having to figure out what to do with our new found freedom. I was determined if nothing else to use my voice and gift to create a positive change and to be an example of possibility for South Africans. There are only a handful of really successful musicians in South Africa and there’s only so much we can do in our small territory but I’ve been fortunate to break many barriers.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How much would it mean to you, to seize the international music industrie and what do you think this would mean for South Africa?
Answer: It means that anything is truly possible for anyone who focuses on achieving a goal. South Africans know my journey and they have seen me turn my failures into a success. I have positively influenced many people by merely following my dreams – Having a successful international career I believe would boost the confidence of many South Africans. In as far as what is possible for us out there.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Have you been already in Germany and which impressions do you have from Germans?
Answer: Aaaah Germany! I could live in Germany. I have had amazing experiences over there. The people are so appreciative of African Music, they are so warm. I have been to Stuttgart, Berlin, Würzburg, Frankfurt and Konstanz. I have an appreciation for Germany!
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What are your ambitions, hopes and dreams for the future?
Answer: I have a very specific vision for myself because – I’m at a stage where I want to explore new markets, to see how far I can go with my career. I have the rare opportunity to enter the world’s largest music market (U.S.) and see if I can transform my appeal to a global offering. It’s a dream I’ve always had. My focus is reaching and growing my American fan base.
I would also love to do an African Tour… I have my heart set on it in 2013.
You can get up to date information on what I’m doing at my website www.misslira.com.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Miss Lira, South Africas top musician, thank you very much for this interview!