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Album Review: Zahara Makes Statement With ‘Country Girl’

Third time still lucky? Zahara aims to affirm her place in the South African music industry with brand new album Country Girl. Should you buy it? Here’s a full review



2015 came with many personal and professional highs and lows for Zahara. Admittedly, fans were concerned about the singer’s wellbeing after rumours of a downward spiral, which involved alcohol abuse, swirled in the streets. But even amid all the mudslinging, all the Loliwe singer could really say was, ‘I am in the studio curating my return’. And now months later, Country Girl becomes her third studio album.


Rightfully, the album has been one of the most anticipated ones for the year. Not just because fans wanted firm reassurance that they still have their Queen in tact, but also because that Queen happens to be Zahara. She boasts two multi platinum albums with massive commercial success. By this very virtue, it is unsurprising then that her return to the airwaves would be as urgent as it was.

So what is Zahara saying on this album? Has she shut sceptics to reclaim her very unique position as the darling of the country’s music industry?

Possibly, we are asking the wrong questions. Proving wrong those who cast shadows of doubt in her career is not being addressed on Country Girl, because there was never doubt in the first place. Instead, Zahara took the opportunity to break away from the formula she stuck with in her first two records to flex up her sound and be playful. While the songbird has kept true to her authentic and raw sound, she experiments a bit more on here.

In fact, for the first time, she attempts to showcase her range. The album is a fresh blend of different sounds that include folk, pop, afro jazz and a bit of rock n roll. In this way, Country Girl is not as uniform and as conceptual as the first two albums. Rather, she claims a new confidence in attempting and expanding her sound to incorporate the richness of music.

What’s Right With It?

Country Girl has all the makings of a great South African album. The sound is solid and rich, there is enough to go around for different moods and moments. You can play this in your car, on Saturday afternoon with your friends at a braai or after a break up. Zahara’s beautiful husky voice shines and blends very well with the organic instrumentation. Tracks like Country Girl, Bendirongo are instant stand outs while we hear others as growers.

Bomibam for instance, is much more heartfelt and requires a moment of your time. It reminds us of her song Bomi’ Endibaziyo and flaunts Zahara’s signatures.

What’s Wrong With It? 

Well naturally, not much. We would, however, caution fans who are looking for signature Zahara. She goes out there a little bit more on this one.

Album Tracklist

  1. Ntombenhle
  2. Bomibam
  3. Imali
  4. Inameva
  5. Bengirongo
  6. Izintaba
  7. Amapleya
  8. Okutshia
  9. Walks Of Life
  10. Udali
  11. Who I Am
  12. Country Girl
  13. Stop The Night


Country Girl gets our rating of 7/10. Grab yourself a copy on iTunes HERE

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  1. mavee

    September 28, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Very nice album n it touch my heart. May God bless u Zahara

  2. Zola dyani

    September 29, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    zahara u ar wearing Brenda fassie’s shoes and its ur size, big up ntombi yomxhosa ndiyazingca ngawe. I got copy, so far intaba and bendirongo ar my songs to enjoy bt the whole album ishushu.

  3. Nwai

    September 29, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    i personally like it “baby bendi wrongo ” well done once again home girl!!

  4. Ndora

    October 2, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Ucwambu lodwa mntanam, big up big girl.

  5. Luke

    October 3, 2015 at 8:02 am

    It sounds like an underground album. It doesn’t have those maturity touches of an artist who has been in the studio 3x. It doesn’t steal one’s attention, lyrical contents and instrumental arrangement don’t hold water. If an album has no sing along songs, know that it’s a flop. It might hit gold because her followers would like to hear what she had dished but in true sense she didn’t rise as expected.

    • Lloyd

      December 9, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      I love all the songs, especially “amaplaya”, Okushia, “izintaba”, inameva”, “bomibami”imali all the tracks actually all the songs well done girl u made me proud.

  6. Pingback: 12 Things Local Artists Must Learn From Zahara – RIGHT NOW! | Quench SA

  7. luvuyo

    December 20, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    this album is just hot no færther comments with bomibam n all other songz am blessed

  8. Dazel Vokwana Dumolwethu

    December 28, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Go Zaaza keep making us proud,Buffalo City STAND UP…..

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Inside Zahara’s 5 Months Of Sobriety

Zahara has opened up about her 5 months without alcohol, saying she now wants to shine the spotlight on the mental health of local artists, who’d rather “destroy themselves” than face record labels.



Photo: Sowetan/Veli Nhlapo

It’s been 5 months since Zahara has consumed any alcohol.

The Afro-Pop songbird revealed to TshisaLive that she decided to quit after “one night I finished a whole bottle of wine by myself.”

This personal milestone attends to negative portrayals of the singer, who’s had to fight persistent reports of a drinking problem that is out of control. It’s a reputation she’s keen to challenge. “I want to show people that those stories aren’t true.”

It’s also a reputation, says the singer, that has been engineered to undermine her credibility amid her fight for album royalties.


Her breakthrough moment, however, happened last year in October, when her mother and sister fasted in prayer as a means to intervene. She hasn’t had any since then, and doesn’t miss it.

The 30 year old afro-soul songstress has recently detailed rough patches she’s endured in recent months, most of which are related to the alleged heated disputes between her and her previous labels.


“I won’t be a statistic, I want my money”, says Zahara in a new Instagram post, in which she also gives out her personal mobile number. Repurposing lyrics from her hit single, Umthwalo (My baggage), she went on to clarify that the account was not hacked. Instead, she’s decided to use her platfom to expose unspoken realities in the music industry.

Speaking to IOL Entertainment, Zahara said she’s adamant to be heard.

“Some of my peers are suffering from depression, some have thrown themselves into drug abuse, others into the arms of men simply because they are afraid of admitting that they have no money, because the record labels are not paying us”, says the Loliwe hitmaker.

Zahara also said that she’s now pursuing legal action for said album royalties.


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Nasty C Opens The Industry With ‘Lift As You Rise’



Nasty C, Tellaman, Rowlene for Lift As You Rise

More and more of Mzansi’s hip-hop artists are climbing the ladder of success with the support and mentorship of hip-hop collectives.

This phenomenon brings to life a gripping narrative that the local hip-hop space is overloaded with inherent quality and talent. With this in mind, Red Bull Music and Tall Racks Records have joined forces to form Lift As You Rise; a music project that is aimed at uplifting artists across South Africa and subsequently catapults them into success.

Made up of unstoppable forces Nasty C, Tellaman, Gemini Major, Rowlene, Lastee and Zino D, the Lift As You Rise project will see these artists come together to produce multiple open tracks.

These tracks will incorporate verses from the collective artists, excluding 16 bars that will allow Mzansi’s aspiring artists to add their verses and subsequently completing the tracks. As a result, SA’s budding musicians can contribute to the songs and add their parts so as to complete the tracks.

The musicians will then need to upload their tracks onto their respective social media platforms with the correct tags.

Red Bull Music and Tall Racks Records will then select the best artists. Successful artists will get an opportunity to go into the Red Bull Music Recording Studios in Cape Town where songs will be recorded culminating in complete tracks released to the public.

“A much-undervalued part of the music industry is collaboration, especially in the world of fresh and independent hip-hop artists,” Nasty C comments.

“At the moment, our music culture in SA is becoming more and more open to sharing and collaborating and this is the culture the Lift As You Rise project looks to achieve. This is the era where budding artists need to catch up with the understanding that they must collaborate to take their gift one step further.”

Rowlene adds, “Collaboration is the biggest uplifting force driving music today. To young and upcoming artists looking to project their talents onto a bigger audience, the Lift As You Rise project is the powerful stepping stone.”

For more information on the Lift As You Rise project, visit


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Beyoncé’s Homecoming Doccie To Premiere on Netflix

Beyonce’s Coachella documentary is coming to Netflix



Beyonce Homecoming Netflix

Beyoncé has premiered the first look into her looming documentary, and the streets are shaken.

The promo for ‘Homecoming‘ landed on the internet on Monday. The South African beyhive is in for a treat as the documentary will surface on Netflix, April 17th.

The picture is set to chronicle the journey to one of Beyoncé’s most iconic performances – Beychella.

The doccie will feature the actual performance – which means you can now stop scouring the internet for that pixelated footage obtained from the live stream – as well behind the scenes preparations for the critically lauded show.

The piece is said to offer an “intimate, in-depth look” at the concert, revealing “the emotional road from creative concept to cultural movement,” Netflix said.

Will you be streaming this one? Join the conversations in the comments section below, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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