South African soul singer hopes to make a splash in the U.S.

The South African singer has been compared to Erykah Badu.  Credit: Cassandra Goins
The South African singer has been compared to Erykah Badu.
Credit: Cassandra Goins

It’s best not to call the upcoming album by South African soul singer Simphiwe Dana a cover album.

“I would rather call it a reinterpretation of the songs or a reimagining of those songs,” says Dana of the album, of which the release date and label have not been announced. “Because they do not sound like how you know them, they’re sung in my own way.”

Dana, who performs Wednesday at World Cafe Live, has recorded tracks by American and African artists ranging from Ray Charles to Letta Mbulu in Los Angeles with producer Om’Mas Keith, perhaps best known for his Grammy-winning work with Frank Ocean.

“He loves the rawness of my voice, he finds that quite intriguing,” Dana says.

So does much of the world. Dana burst on the Afro-soul scene with her 2005 debut, “Zandisile.” The work heralded the arrival of a sparkling talent whose luxurious phrasing made her a star on multiple continents.

She’s been called the Erykah Badu of South Africa. Now, she’s setting her sights on the U.S. Her stateside debut was at this year’s Essence Festival in New Orleans last week.

Politicians beware: Dana is a vocal critic of the South African political scene and she has her eye on U.S. polls, beginning with President Obama.

“The Palestinians are not happy with him, and he basically has a concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay,” Dana says. “What’s going on there is basically against human rights.”

As for her World Cafe Live show, she plans to make an impact. “I’m hoping audiences will be impressed enough so that the promoters will take notice and bring me back,” says Dana, who hopes to meet Philly’s Jill Scott while here. “I’m hoping I’ll be more or less a regular feature in the U.S. from now on.”

Simphiwe Dana
July 10, 8 p.m.
World Cafe Live Upstairs
3025 Walnut St.
$20, 215-222-1400
www.worldcafelive.com


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Local

BSL, El to run all night on summer…

Officials announced this week that it would institute a pilot program this summer that would keep the El operational from 5 a.m. Friday morning until midnight Monday morning starting in…

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

National

Missouri man charged with sexually torturing five women

A Missouri man has been charged with raping and torturing five women in a St. Louis-area apartment over several years, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

NHL

Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.