Babes Wodumo recently sat down with MacG on his popular YouTube podcast. The candid conversation, which runs for one hour and nearly 20 minutes, covers everything from the sweet highs of the Gqom Queen’s career, to the blows that led her to retreat from the public eye for years.
Babes shot to fame almost instantly back in 2015 with the arrival of her blockbuster hit ‘Wololo’. She followed the single’s massive international success with her debut album Gqom Queen Vol 1, and became the highest-paid music act in the country for a hot moment.
The fame came with a less appealing offshoot – the media scrutiny that followed. Real name Bongekile Simelane, the 26 year old has been splashed in newspapers for her romantic relationship with Mampintsha, a bunch of court cases and allegations of domestic violence.
In 2021 though, she made a triumphant return to the charts with the release of her sophomore album Idandokazi.
Although gqom is seeming past the best of its buzz, the album has gone on to reach platinum in sales. It also spawned the single Elamont, which went on to become the best performing gqom single on the Channel O top 30 chart for 2020.
Here are some 5 things we learned from the interview
SHE OWNS HER MASTERS
While many artists have now begun trying to earn back the masters of their catalogues, Babes Wodumo told MacG that she owns hers. That’s long money. Babes Wodumo had been signed to West Ink at the time of releasing her debut album, but has since established her own label ‘Wodumo Entertainment’
However, she continues to be linked to West Ink largely due to her relationship with his founder Mampintsha, to whom she’s getting ready to get married.
HAS YET TO COLLECT THE ‘WOLOLO’ CHEQUE
That’s why she will likely be smiling all the way to the bank when she finally collects the royalties for her blockbuster hit Wololo. Babes revealed during the interview that she’s kept herself from collecting the royalties from SAMRO because it hadn’t been time yet.
SHE MADE R1,2 MILLION PER WEEKEND
At the height of her blaze, she’d been earning an average of R1,2 million for performing gigs every weekend!
SHE HASN’T SPOKEN TO MASECHABA SINCE ‘THE INCIDENT’
To this date, Babes has yet to have any kind of interaction with media personality Masechaba Ndlovu. The two fell out after the radio presenter made claims on air that Mampintsha had been physically assaulting Babes Wodumo during a live show.
Babes told MacG that she had been blindsided by the questions and hadn’t been prepared to talk about it.
THE REAL REASON MAMPINTSHA IS ON EVER SONG
Apart from the fact that Mampintsha called multiple times during the interview, we also got to finally learn why he’s in every single song she does. Through the years, fans have jokingly asked whether ‘Babes Wodumo’ is really a duo, and it’s because the two appear on all her singles together.
However, Babes explained that Mampintsha is the one who is 1) always present when she’s creating new music and 2) has the best adlibs to enhance her style. She said not many people understand the ‘gimmicks’ involved with generating catchy adlibs over gqom instrumentals