Born as Ivannea Mudanisse in 1979, Dama Do Bling started her career featuring on the second album of Mozambique’s Queen of Reggae, Lizha James, in 2005. In 2006, she launched her first self-titled album, produced by Bang Entretenimento, which featured Lizha James. Her first big hit was ‘Danca do Remexe;, which won two of South Africa’s Channel O Music Video Awards in the category ‘Best Female Video’ and ‘Best African Southern’ in 2007.I met up with her during Coke Studio and this is what she had to say about life as a mother, her music and her love for reading and writing childrens books.
This is what she had to say:
What do you think about Kenya?
I love the weather, Kenya is a very nice place to be as it reminds me of Maputo.
What are your expectations for Coke Studio this year?
I see a lot of work to be done as this particular season is taking artists to another level. We create and get inspired by the music. It’s a great thing to do.
What does the song ‘Toi Et Ta Vie’ mean and talk about?
It’s a motivational song encouraging people to do things. They must have positive thoughts and not give up on things in life.
How does it feel it to be a young mother of two kids?
Young (hahahaha) do you know how old I am….I wanted to conceive but had issues getting pregnant. I understand life through them but it’s very hard raising them as they are really young. Like my son just turned two years old, he is just learning to say his first words and I’m not there to see that because I’m travelling, but I manage somehow to spend time with them.
How did you end up collaborating with Yvonne Darcq and Victoria Kimani?
I met up with Yvonne in Maputo and we decided to do a song together. With Victoria we met during the ‘Cocoa Na Chocolat’ Project which was part of the One Campaign, we also met at the MTV Mama Awards and exchanged contacts. We did the song ‘Taking Over’ and shot the video in South Africa thereafter.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Writing childrens stories. Ill also open a big bookshop as I love to read and write books.
How was it collaborating with Neyo on the song ‘Reason’ in the last season of Coke Studio?
We did that song last season and I really admire him. He’s a simple guy and gave us African artists good advice. He said we should believe in something and go for it.One day it will happen.
With many awards under your belt, how does it feel to be the reigning queen of African Hip-Hop?
It’s a great feeling, coming from working hard as I face a lot of problems back home, like getting sponsors or people to promote my music, and I’m thankful to those who’ve helped me in my career.
Should we see collaboration between you, Neyma, Vladimir or any other Kenyan artists?
I’ve already done a collaboration with Neyma. I will be releasing my album at the end of this year and will be working with other Portuguese artists from Cape Verde, Angola, Portugal and Brazil.
What inspires your fashion sense?
I like being different and I love attention. Anything that is weird and looks interesting on me is what I’ll wear.
Any last words for your Kenyan fans?
Kenyans love my songs and give me strength. I have new stuff coming out this year. Thanks for the support.
Does Dama Do Bling inspire you? Tell us below.