“I grew up in a world where I faced so many limitations. I realized defining freedom for myself and subsequently living it was what I needed to do.” So says South African songstress LIRA on her 6th studio album Born Free. “I want people to realize how powerful they are and that they can own their freedom. This album has become more than a body of musical work, it seeks to inspire and create change – physically and most importantly, mentally.”
Born in Ekurhuleni, East of Johannesburg, LIRA who grew up listening to Stevie Wonder, Miriam Makeba, Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone, began writing songs and performing at age 16 before she was discovered in 2000 and signed to 999 where she released her debut album All My Love in 2003. The title track off the Album would go on to surpass Beyonce’s “Dangerously in love” on its run to the top of the South African Charts, marking the beginning of her meteoric rise. LIRA then signed to Sony Music in 2006 and released three albums, Feel Good , Soul in Mind and Return to Love, all 3 of which were certified platinum and subsequently won her numerous accolades and multiple South African Music Awards (SAMAs) – 11 to date.
In 2013, LIRA celebrating having been in the music industry for 10 years with her First Decade Celebration, a three-tier experience communicating what she valued most as an artist; Love, Celebration and Inspiration. As an extension of this, LIRA released her autobiography Making Herstory, a personal depiction of the journey she embarked on and the invaluable lessons learned on her path to becoming the icon we know today.
In further pursuit of growing her international brand, LIRA released Rise Again in 2014 through independent USA record label – Shanachie. The launch of the album saw LIRA tour 12 American states over 2 months. The South African superstar ‘s very own seven-part documentary series, titled ”LIRA, Dream Chaser” which details the release and touring of her Rise Again album in North America, has been screened on the DSTV platform.
Aside from keeping herself busy in 2016 with mentoring talented singers as a coach on South Africa’s version of the international hit music reality TV show, The Voice; the musician is also collaborating with Bobbi Brown, the global cosmetic giant, with the campaign dubbed “Bobbi x LIRA”.
The foremost female artist in South Africa, songstress LIRA, whose music career spans 13 years which includes six studio albums, three live DVD’s, an autobiography and a movie; recently answered Capital Lifestyle’s #10Questions.
What is your screensaver?
Its a slide show of images of my favourite travel and stage moments as well s my favourite quotes.
Live today like it’s your last or live today like it’s your first?
If it was your first day you would lack experience so live today as if it was your last… then you’re more likely to get the best you can out of it.
What’s your favourite dish?
Italian style vegetable pasta with tomato or olive oil pasta… I don’t like cream.. and I love my pasta with loads of vegetables.
What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
That music isn’t a real career.
Ghandi or Martin Luther King?
Both.. interestingly I often quote both of them: “Be the change you want to see in the world” – Ghandi
“Always take the first step, you don’t have to see the whole stair case… just take the first step” – Martin
What is your most treasured possession?
Jewelry that my husband has given me. From my wedding ring, to a bespoke diamond crusted snow flake.
What is your favourite word?
LOVE… I love LOVE!
What do you want to say to your parents?
I love them! I appreciate them greatly! I show it more often than I say it.
What keeps you awake at night?
Things left undone!
How would you like to be remembered?
As an African who did things with great excellence and broke boundaries.