Amapiano is something we can completely own as Africans, and why wouldn’t I be part of the revolution in knowing that I contribute somewhere, somehow.”

Gigi Lamayne, inspired by her real name Genesis Gabriella Tina Manney. Taken from the first letter, ‘G’ for Genesis and the other from Gabriella, uttering the sound GG for Gigi and the rest is history. That’s how the star’s name was birthed. Talking about origin, the musician was born and bred in Lenasia, often called Lenz. A south suburb of Soweto. The Yanos Plug spent time to interview the gorgeous South African rapper and songwriter in respect of her career and how it has changed.

Let’s take a look:

Are you the type that sings in the shower? Which songs?

“I am definitely the type of person that sings in the shower. I try all the difficult songs; I wouldn’t say I make it a tradition but, all the difficult songs that Randall, the ex-Idols SA judge had told us never to audition. So, your typical Whitney Houston and Adele. Songs that I know I will never sound good singing, and the shower is a good place I could challenge myself”.

When did you realise that music is your calling and how did it come about?

Gigi Lamayne’s music journey did not ordinarily come by like how many artists harnessed their talent. Not that she doesn’t, but she accidently bumped into music. Though she had been writing music from the age of 11. Back in primary and high school. A vivid memory of when she started writing was when she was sitting on a staircase with her friends, and they created a song called ‘Lovers’. Since then, she has never stopped writing.

“My first poem was published at the Poetry Institute of Africa, I was 11, grade 5 at the time…”

This is when her gift was cultivated and pushed for more by entering competitions and climbing up the ladder, step by step. The moment that changed Gigi’s life and career all together was the Jack Daniel’s competition, back in varsity in her second year.

“Out of thousands of people, I went to the finale where there were three of us and I came up on top and I was on my way to Miami with DJ Maphorisa, Busiswa, Oskido, a few people and when I came back, ‘Ice Cream’ which is my breakout single was one of the biggest songs on radio at the time.”

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

If there’s anything that Lamayne could change in the industry, it must be the cliques and gatekeeping. In our conversation, she mentioned that the gatekeeping is not allowing the industry to have fresh and new talent. But with the gush and come up of Amapiano, this where Mzansi gets to see new faces and opening doors for more people to enter the space.

Also, the musician considers herself a huge advocate for diversification and digital media which allows individuals to consume what they want as opposed to other traditional spaces.

What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?

“I would be a political journalist, and that’s something that I’m still going to venture into.” Gigi is definitely fetching what’s hers with a couple of plans in her bag. You will just have to keep watching the space for more updates.

We see that you have ventured into the Amapiano genre, how has that been?

The female artist has ventured, or rather dabbled a bit into Amapiano like how she has with King Monada and Makhadzi, etc.

To her, it seems bizarre at how she sees a lot of similarities in the music genre to Kwaito and Hip-hop. “Obviously at a faster genre that always people to dance,” said Gigi.

How did it come about?

“It came about because I like new challenges. I feel like Amapiano is something we can completely own as Africans, and why wouldn’t I be part of the revolution in knowing that I contribute somewhere, somehow.”

So, can we expect something a little bit sooner than we think?

“People can expect a cute offering to Amapiano in early 2023.  Something that we don’t expect from Gigi Lamayne, a different side of me that a lot of people haven’t heard. I am excited”.

We cannot wait!

 Have you always seen yourself as a versatile artist?

Gigi has always seen herself as a versatile artist because she loves playing with many colours and canvases. Especially because there is a lot of emotions and feelings that she goes through as a Cancerian. Which is where she likes to think her versatility comes from, to express herself differently than to box oneself.

Though her call will always be Hip-hop but in terms of being diverse, it is important for the artist to express her creativity and growth in the industry.

How has it been working with some of the big names in the industry for your Amapiano singles?

Amazing. Is the word she used to describe working with some of the big names in the industry by the likes of Ntosh, Lady Du to name a few. These are some of the names that carry the flagship for Amapiano which she gets to work with on some of her projects.

What is the best advice you have been given?

“You need not be afraid to stand on your own. Individualism is sometimes all you have, and that’s the only way you will stick out, like a sore thumb. The idea is never to blend in with the crowd, it’s to stand out from it.

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