Namakau Star is a Cape Town-based “new-age neo-soulist, gender bender, healer and light worker” as her bio on SoundCloud accurately describes her. Her attention to the finer details shines through in her latest offering, Landing, which takes you on a journey to outer space.
As the cover art conveys, Namakau Star is an energy-reading extra-terrestrial on a mothership that is waiting to land softly on new beginnings. She is willing to learn from both her past and present experiences.
Landing starts as a reflection on decisions made in romantic relationships on ‘Tomorrow (Intro)’ where she sings: “If tomorrow never comes would you say that you did it all?/ Would you say that you went all in?” and proceeds to ask, “Who did you love out loud?” as she reminisces on the possibility that the next day is not certain; and what would she or her lover do if every chance they had did not exist?
The vibey intro bleeds into the futuristic ‘2088’ that sticks to the theme of outer space travel with a potential lover. Namakau Star shows off her versatility as a vocalist as she lightly raps, encouraging her potential lover to “hop onto the mothership” with her for an out-of-this-world experience.
On ‘Floating’, she explores her newfound freedom (space), her independence as an energic being and her deep journey of spiritual discovery as she sings: “Open wings I need freedom to fit/ Energy is a language for me.”
Scoring a placement on Apple Music’s Brown Sugar, a playlist that “highlights grown-up R&B tunes with hints of the classic tradition”, ‘Floating’ is produced by singer/producer Lordkeyyz, an up-and-comer in South Africa’s thriving R&B scene.
The interlude ‘Surrender’ further ties into her thought process on letting go and letting the universe do what is best, even when it seems uncertain.
‘Rewind’, which is one of my favourite tracks on Landing, sees her travelling back in time to an ex-lover with whom she had a great relationship, to initiate the process of forgiveness.
Lordkeyyz comes in on the sensual ‘Seazn Luv’ to duet with Namakau Star. Lyrically, both artists show what it means to be presently in love with someone, and the desires and fears that come with bearing your soul to another person.
She closes off her soul-searching trip with another favourite of mine, ‘Breathe’, featuring Phola, Phola. She continues to show off her versatility with her light rapping/singing style over a smooth beat, while explaining how her journey through time and space has shaped her overall idea of what it means to live. To fully live is to be open to the endless possibilities that come with expressing love, self-acceptance and trusting the universe, letting it breathe.
Namakau Star’s EP is a beautiful R&B/soul offering that transports the listener into a mothership to travel and hear different versions of herself and those around her. She manages to capture the essence of what it is to be a hopeless romantic with a consistent message and excellent choice in production.
As her first-ever full-length release, Landing is a taste of what the singer still has to offer in the future.