She goes by the name Promise the Lioness and is better known for her unique touch and feel on the Afro-beat genre. She is the architect of domestic hits “Tanauka”, “Kumangoma “and fresh hit “Dogo Dogo”. Her musical roar was first heard on songs like the remix of “Are You Single” with PDK which opened up doors to her musical future.
Her recent product is the hit single Dogo Dogo which is currently receiving a welcoming viewership on YouTube. The video received 4000 views the same day it was loaded, 4 September and had 18,225 views by yesterday morning.
She is no guru in the music fraternity with only three years since holding the mic for business but ever since she graced the stage with her presence, every music lover knew there was potential of an unique sound and not your usual cup of coffee.
The Afro-beat queen introduced her stand-alone talent with the hit song ‘Tanauka’ then under Omalaeti Productions stable. Rubbing shoulders with PDK, Tate Buti and other stable mates was a blessing for the rough talent that needed nothing but mere polish.
The right people steered her in the right direction starting with the right genre where she could make an impact. Promise, being an RnB fanatic before becoming a recording artist had to learn how to swing and place notes on the afro-beat sounds. And just like any aspect of transition in life, it was not easy.
“The first days were tough. I was into RnB but I was advised to change to Afro-beat in order to make an instant impact. I had to learn to sing on an Afro-beat. I had to learn to keep the groove. I never really imagined doing it but I learned to love it with time,” narrated Promise.
She adds that the Namibian music lovers are quite difficult to please especially with the already existing talent. Promise thus had to dig deep into her creative juices to make sure her introduction set the record straight that she is not only talented but is a new undiscovered gem to the industry.
She eventually released her first debut album in 2014. It did not take time before she picked up her fans. “People would come and tell me that people are playing my music in the location and I was just like – wow, humbled.”
A New Style
Any music analyst will point out that if there is anything Promise brings to the creative industry, its her style. She draws her inspiration from both local and international icons who she intensively studies in order to always come out different. Before she blesses any song with her voice, one might question her roots on the African continent. You hear a Nigerian flair but it is not long when you hear her articulate herself in local languages such as Oshiwambo and Rukavango but with a Nigerian accent.
“There are artists who are good at what they do. So it is always important to come out different and stand out. There are artists I look up to such as Yemi Alade, Tequila, Chikune, Freeda and Oteya and other talented Namibian artists. And then sometimes I listen to Beyoncé’s technique of singing. I take time to listen whenever these artists release their albums so that I can come up with something different and still be as good, if not better. You cannot give the fans the same thing all the time.”
She adds that her style is influenced by international ingredients. She does not only want to remain domestic but in the long run take on the world. “You need to challenge yourself every day and think outside the box.”
Why the name Promise?
Born in Katima Mulilo with her real name Naomi, she decided to go by the stage name Promise for it articulated the plans she had for life. As a child of 5 years old, she used to dance and picture herself on the stage. She was born with the talent but that was not enough to get her to where she aspired to be.
“I am a go-getter. When I want something done, it must be done. When I put my mind to it, it will be done. I wanted to be an artist, a lawyer and a boss. I’m very prophetic. So when I say something, it must come to pass. I promised myself that one day, I will be amongst the big artists. I promised that I will make it and people will be inspired by me. I think I am doing great in achieving my promise so far. Today, I call myself the Lioness because I am the queen of my own castle. I have been through a lot and that is why I look myself as a lioness – I am tough. Name has power. So when you say I am a lioness, I live up to my promise.”
The 26-year old is currently busy on her next single that will be another not-to-miss in December. And just like her name, she promises something better than Dogo Dogo. “It is important to improve.”
She also advises artist to value their fans as music can be equally hopeless without the fans. Her fans motivate and inspire her to continue doing what she loves. “My fans mean the world to me. No matter what people say, as long as I have my fans, I am complete.”
The afro-beat queen adds that while it is important to value the fans, one also needs to get out of their comfort zone in order to make it. Artists need to study the market and do research to avoid going wrong.
“At times it is not about what you want but what the market wants. In the ghetto is where the fans are. You need to keep your fans in. That is why you find artist who started music since 2000 and are not yet recognized. Sing something people want to hear.”
In her case, she says she was fortunate to have met with people who knew the industry which is also of paramount importance for upcoming artists.”
Moving forward, the Lioness calls on female artists to join hands in order to remain powerful in the male-dominated industry. There is room for female artist to prosper in Namibia just like in other countries. And that’s a promise!