Naye Ayla on the years of soul searching that inspired her latest EP ‘Every Feeling’.


Naye Ayla is a soulful, sophisticated genre-bending musician who came onto our radar through her 2018 EP ‘Exist’ – a masterful piece of sonic art. We have since been watching her move from strength to strength while rooting for her as we would our favorite artist. Her distinct raspy voice and emotive songwriting resonates with all of us and we’re grateful to have experienced the pleasure of her live performance at our Soulo -O-Sessions alongside WAOMFestival. Here’s our exclusive interview with Naye Ayla sharing more about her musical journey and latest release ‘Every Feeling’.

How do you define yourself as a musician and what inspired you to become one?

It was always innate for me, like a destiny of sorts. I always knew, everyone around me always knew too. There was no other choice for me. This is truly all I’ve ever wanted, to make beautiful music.

What inspired your latest project and what do you want people to take from it?

‘Every Feeling’ is inspired by years and years of soul searching and introspection on my part. The need to confront or allow all my emotions to unfold the way they needed to. I realised that trying to control a feeling, made the feeling more unbearable and the time which i would experience that feeling, so much longer. I just want people to know that its cool to feel things that aren’t pretty and that take long to iron out. We’re humans, we live online where people only share they’re experience once its over, so the process of healing becomes somehow shortened and glamorized. Healing in brutal, endless and feelings are feelings man.

What goes into your process of creating music and what have you learnt from it?

My music process is haphazard. Its made up of all my experiences and conversations and pain and achievements. The love i felt for and from people and the love thats been taken from me. I’ve learnt that i’m endless & thats up for interpretation lol.

What do you feel the next step should be for the music and art industry in South Africa?

I think we should definitely continue the way we’re going but push harder. Push for excellence, for quality. The one thing that needs serious attention here is Live performance. We need to develop profound respect for live performance in order to get what we want out of it. Good sound, good planning, good teams, no financial compromise. Its such a weird thing to compromise on the cost of sound when you want a good live performance, lol so counterintuitive.

What would you say to upcoming musicians to inspire them? 

Please don’t stop. If it matters to you that your name be on it, then don’t stop.

Follow Naye Ayla on: 

Instagram: nayeayla

Twitter : @nayeayla

Every Feeling available on all digital stores: https://open.spotify.com/album/7yd4ytzGiMUa75uARrYWJx?si=yO0ACpkeRguVTTpWoE0xtw

Multifaceted writer and filmmaker, Tebogo Nong leading us back to ourselves through storytelling.

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Coming onto our radar through her deeply reflective and affirming self-published debut poetry collection entitled ‘The Truth Shall Bloom‘ (2018), Tebogo Nong is a screenwriter and poet with a love for all things art, writing and creative entrepreneurship.

While pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Motion Picture, majoring in Screenwriting and Producing, she learned the power of narrative and storytelling which lead her to further explore Film Directing and Screenwriting during her honours year.

She curates @BloomPoetryZA – a multidisciplinary platform she founded in 2017 with the aim of creating a space for multifaceted artists and thinkers. She enjoys collaborating in environments that require a dynamic voice. 

She reveales that the process has shown her new layers of who she is.

”I have a passion for research & how it impacts our world and our growth. I share my art with the world to inspire self-recovery and growth.” 

How do you define yourself as a writer, filmmaker and what inspired you to become one?

In a perfect world, I wouldn’t define myself, but to answer the question I would choose the word ‘multifaceted’ it best describes me as a writer of different mediums and it allows me to create without limitation. My love for storytelling inspired me to explore the possibilities of what it would look like to see my words to evolve from paper to screen.

What makes your style of storytelling unique?

The purpose of my storytelling is not to lead people to a promised land but to lead them back to themselves. Being honest in my expressions is what makes my storytelling unique.

What creative projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on my debut directorial film. Writing it has been exciting and challenging at the same time, the story explores the intricacies of childhood and explores the challenges of being resilient when facing familial adversity.

For more on the project you can follow : Transmute.shortfilm

What do you feel the next step should be for the film, television and entertainment industry in South Africa?

I think the next step should be archiving and appreciating the already existing film, TV and entertainment culture we have, nurturing it through support and cultivating a culture of documenting; so when a new generation of creators release work we will have context and collectively give our industries the respect they deserve.

What would you say to upcoming fellow writers and filmmakers to inspire them?

  1. To define is to limit, there are limitless possibilities to the things you can achieve. 
  2. Grow, evolve and nurture yourself because that is where your voice and everything you want to birth will stem from.
  3. Lay a foundation of knowledge that you can confidently build on.
  4. Create beyond the need for recognition and instant gratification, timeless work requires respect and patience – you deserve to have a portfolio and build a life that is a reflection of timeless beauty. 

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Photography by Sheena.Photography

Connect with Tebogo on:

Instagram and Twitter: @tebogonong_

Creative blog:  @bloompoetryza 

Underestimate Me Not.

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I intimidate
I threaten and throw you off your tracks
Blindsided by ego and a lack of respect
You never thought I had it in me to retaliate.
How could it be?
In your validated bravado, accolades and strength
Bested by quick wit and a brazen smile
Intelligence and a soul too deep
Your shallow mind could never read
The intricacies and nuances of higher knowledge
Only elevated thinking could acknowledge
There is more to me than this
There is more to me than this frame you see.
This skin, this hair
These hands and this flair
Behind the beauty and smile
Is a mind worth more than your while
You hold me to a limited stature
Of basic looks and flattering conjecture
Choosing to focus merely on what is seen.
What you perceive, assume and fill in
And ignore all that maketh me
But I am made of more than looks and simple thoughts
My creativity ebbs and flows like rivers into waterfalls
Psyche made of convolutions and depressions.
Surface deep has never left much of an impression
Understanding of the world with skin its harshness couldn’t peel
A wild spirit, a mixture of fire and feels
Sensitivity to heal, hear me; I am a woman
Interwoven with longing, jubilance and spontaneity
Poetry by Tamara Lesabe
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“This is poem is based on a woman in the creative industry, the assumptions that are placed on a woman by society, creatives and men. It is about being more than the physical and woman breaking barriers beyond their looks and what people have always expected to do. Doing away with the limitations put on woman because they do not believe that woman are capable of doing a “mans job”. Its also about exposing the beauty of the mind and creativity.” – Tamara Lesabe.
                                                                           Model: Palesa Williams.
Photographer: Ray Manzana.

Desperation.

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You reek of desperation, said the worn out image of my once youthful self in the mirror. The same mirror I had picked out with so much enthusiasm had now become my enemy, I cannot recognise the girl staring back at me no matter how hard I try. My hollow eyes desperately seeking to see a bit oh heaven and freedom, my skin barely keeping it together, and my smile, that once lit up the room has become nothing more than a painted red marked smile of a sad clown.

When did I become this person, when did I give up?

Whe shower can’t seem to wash away all the sins I’ve committed I suppose I was warned that only Jesus can wash away sins. Prayer a distant thought and a memory of small child still pure. No matter how much Listerine I use, I can’t seem to wash out the cigarette and alcohol taste of my recent lover sprawled over my bed.

What happened to me?

I crawled back into the sheets, seeking warmth from the motionless heart of my suiter. I knew from the onset he knew not what love is yet my desperate heart accepted the less he offered, I thought I knew better? I guess I was tired, of sleeping alone, not having a date to all my friend’s weddings, always that one friend you couldn’t double date with, and being the one who befriended wine cellars and strip clubs, with a closet full of sex toys to raise stimulation in my heart that doesn’t know how to beat anymore. I guess my career can’t keep me warm at night after all.

I tainted my own aura.
The nightmares that sleep with me seem to be more alive during the day than night. I can’t keep popping pills to kill the voices in my head consuming my sanity, and yet I lie here, every night next to a being whose sole purpose for my life is destruction. Why did I not listen when he said he ain’t no good for me? I tried to change him, but instead I became him and slowly the worms of his deceit have been eating at me from the inside out; all along thinking its time I picked out my casket and my headstone, because behind all this make-up and perfect hair, I’m merely a walking corpse.

You reek of desperation.
I have opened up my legs more times than I have walked this earth simply to fill a void inside me, but the warmth I welcomed still kept me cold. With each orgasm I died further, the thrill of life leaving my soul with every sweat kissing the pillow, my heart out of sync with my spirit. I did this to myself I keep saying. Drink more and numb the pain, my worth has diminished, my sheets will never become clean, tainted by the self-induced miscarriages to keep him by my side.
You reek of desperation.
My worn out body screaming pick me in brothels and drunk yards, my saintly being washed away by the waters of Gomorrah and Sodom, doubt Jesus can save this soul. Redemption is a far cry; I bet you when he took the keys from hell, clearly my soul was already trapped there. The preachers have laid their hands on me casting out the demons of my poor choices, blaming the devil for my actions, blinded by the unknown reality of a non-existing self-love. Dear Jesus, please come down.

You reek of desperation.
Broken virgin vows a constant reminder when he penetrates without my consent, purity a far cry. All I seem to know so well lately is the river of bed of men whose name I can barely pronounce that I have made my comfort. My mother birthed a whore, no use denying it. I guess I could hope a little, that perhaps when the rain stops pouring and the rainbow peaks from the cloud, a bit of the colours will shine upon my 50’s black and white life film, I am exhausted by the desperate need to belong and find peace. Dear Jesus, can you hear me, they said you are real, I’m waiting.

I reek of desperation.

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Written by Amogelang Lekwadu.

Photography by Brigid Schutz.

Prince Sagë.

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From gracing the stage at Creative Union #TheVisionBoard to her poetry EP, Prince Sagë is a creative force to be reckoned with. Get to know a little more about her and her latest projects.

“For me being a creative is being true to myself and being able to express myself in raw emotion while not caring what anyone else says because what I do is art, some will love it and some will hate it. The only thing that I really care about is if people feel it. I want to find comfort in my poetry, performing is freeing for me and I want my audience to feel that way too.

I would like to think that I am unique because I’m trying to incorporate different elements in my poetry that’s why  I call myself the Punk Prince Of Poetry. I’m trying to get people to listen to my poetry in a different way incorporating punk rock that’s the music that I grew up listening to. I try to instill a lot of the rock sounds that I like so that every poem which is produced has all of me in it.

I’m currently working on my second EP which will be released later on this year, it showd how far I’ve come in my craft. I really think that there should me more poetry based shows, we shouldn’t be the openers anymore we should be the show. I really feel as if Rhythm And Poetry is going back to the days when it was really appreciated because a lot more people see the value in its expression.

To up and comers I say that keep pushing and don’t compare yourself to your peers otherwise everything you do, you will see as stagnant. Focus on your own craft.” – Prince Sage

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Follow Prince Sage on:

Instagram: uhm.sage
Twitter: @UhmSage

Save her.

 

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Where did she go? No, not the girl with a halo.
Not the one who screamed hello into oblivion hoping to be found by an angel.
Where did she go? No, not her, not the empty vessel.

No, not the one who hid under the mattress from monsters that weren’t afraid of the dark
She isn’t lost, she’s merely breaking.
No, not physically. He wouldn’t dare make it obvious.

I can literally hear her heart breaking, tick tock, anytime now she might give in.
I can’t find her, the veil is too thick, and the mist from her eyes blinding.
She was young, stranger’s aren’t people you know
That’s what teacher said, he’s family.
Should we tell teacher now?
How could you possibly find her now?

Wait…
I saw her once, without an ounce of hope left in her
But I saw her eyes, she was somehow still strong.
I saw her tear, no it did not burn her flesh
But surprisingly, it fed her spirit.
She spoke to me, not in words but in visions
Envisioning her metamorphosis stage
The girl you are looking for,
She’s at the end of the teardrop.
Save her.

Written by Amogelang Lekwadu.

Artwork by Euphoriaheart.

 

Click.

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Click, click; bang, bang

Pull the trigger on your fake feelings

Watch the bullet fly across the room,

Gathering up the pain you caused me,

Combing through the smoke and mirrors of your truth

Moulding into a perfect storm,

Waiting on the perfect moment

When it shreds your weak heart

Into nothing more than crumbled pieces of regret

Making your blood splatter across the room

Look, I think I just created a Picasso.

Click, click, bang, bang.

Did you forget I own a weapon?

Fumbling over your promises,

Pray my next bullet struck your forehead,

Watch it cracks open your skull

Hope the metal erodes your head

And your blood ceases to flow,

so your every thought is a cry for help

your veins scream for redemption

Click, click; bang, bang.

Unlike you, my weapon is a silent prayer for your happiness.

Poetry by Amogelang Lekwadu.

Photo by Glen Mog

Artwork by Eshinelokunwasiu

Dance.

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Two step with me,

Wave your hips for me,

Throw your hands in the air,

Careful, don’t trip on your shoelace.

 

Look out! Don’t hit the wall.

Aaah! You just stepped on my foot!

Stop! Sigh!  We really should stop hugging the floor now.

Okay, let’s try this again.

Get up.

Ready?

 

And that my darling,

Will forever be the dance of life.

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Written by Amogelang Lekwadu.

Photography by Brigid Schutz.

My blue band angel.

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I wish I could see you again,

Tell you it gets better.

I wish I could hug you,

And remind you that it’s okay.

 

I do not know how far you have come,

Are you hanging in there?

I do not know if you are fitting well with society again,

Are you still as strong?

I pray for you.

 

I wear the band you made for me,

The blue sky of our former dark days.

I wear the band as my beacon of hope,

A reminder of how far I have come.

I wear the band as my silent prayer for you.

 

Thirteen with the world crushing you.

Twenty one with renewed strength.

Thirteen with a bright future.

Twenty one, broken.

Together, banded forever;

By reality and hope.

Yours in spirit,

The girl who wears the blue arm band.

 

Written by Amogelang Lekwadu.

Photography by Brigid Schutz.

The Interview.

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Sit up straight, smile.

Do not look down, smile.

Tuck in your shirt, smile.

Pull down your skirt, smile.

 

The nerves will eat at you slowly,

Like the worms on a decaying body laid to rest.

Your heart will explode, mind the splatter.

And when you stomach twists,

Remember to iron it out with a smile.

 

Keep your head high,

Confidence is your weapon.

The corridor will look like a haunted movie scene,

Mind the spider webs.

And when your exorcism begins,

And you say a little prayer,

Remember to smile.

 

Written by Amogelang Lekwadu.

Photography by Brigid Schutz.