June 14, 2024

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Interview with Linda Sikhakhane։ Music reflects one’s inner self։ Video

Jazz interview with a bad musician, as if saxophonist Linda Sikhakhane. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music. How exactly did your adventure take off? When did you realize that this was a passion you could make a living out of?

Linda Sikhakhane: – I grew up in Umlazi Township, just outside Durban, a coastal city located in eastern South Africa. I’ve always had a song in me as a kid, and this led my mother into buying me a guitar made out of tin and strings․

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

LS: – I think sound evolves as one grows, it has to do with some level of consciousness. I’ve been immersing myself in the study of sound of my ancestry.

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

LS: – I go through various rudiments to keep my fingers , breathing technique and muscle memory intact, incorporating rhythmic and harmonic studies in the process. All these systems have been left for us by the masters, but one discovers other/new  ways of interpreting these systems as an improviser.

JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?

LS: – I have evolved through the years, and I think that has to do with finding myself and being more conscious as I grow.

JBN: – How do you prepare for your recordings and performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

LS: – I pray and seek for guidance from my ancestors, I believe that the work comes from them and a deeper acknowledgment is the greatest preparation for manifestation. Of course there are practical aspects to this; practicing, preparing music charts, conceptualising the performance or recording.

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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

LS: – Music reflects one’s inner self. Intellect and soul is therefore exposed in the process of creating music.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

LS: – I believe music creates portals that one can tap into, whilst one being is longing through emotion spheres the other could be longing for something else. My biggest mission is to create music that will serve its purpose in whichever way needed.

JBN: – Can you share any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions over the years?

LS: – A recent memory in studio with my big brother Nduduzo Makhathini. That was a deep master class, I came out a different person. Makhathini has a way of helping people find themselves and I’ve been fortunate to be his student for the past 10 years.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?

LS: – If the languages we speak are more than a century old, it’s equally important to keep the same relationship in jazz. African cosmology teaches us the importance of looking back in order to move forward, the importance of consulting history which gives a language for a better understanding into the future.

JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?

LS: – I’d like to think that Coltrane referred to the non-physical part of him that consists of feelings and character. According to my beliefs, life relies on the spiritual realm for guidance.

JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?

LS: – There isn’t any that I can think of right now, though I’d encourage everyone to be themselves.

JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?

LS: – I listen to a lot of maskandi music, Mfaz’omnyama, Phuzekhemisi and recently Cuban musicians such as Román Filiú and Francisco Mela.

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

LS: – The message of truth.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?

LS: – I hope I do understand this question. If you’re referring to where I’d love for the music to take me, it’s Japan. All great masters have presented seminal works over there.

JBN: – So far, it’s been me asking you questions, now may I have a question from yourself…

LS: – What drew you into music, and why jazz if it’s the only genre you write about?

JBN: – Not the only one, also the Blues. I also often listen to classical and rock music, Soul. And jazz is my life, you probably won’t understand that.

JBN: – At the bottom line, what are your expectations from our interview?

LS: – Honesty.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Welcome Linda Sikhakhane — ropeadope

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