After the debut release of ‘Insecure’ featuring Loki, Nipho Hurd got a taste of what it’s like to put her music out there. “I went on to release a single called ‘Soul Party’ featuring Neo Ndawo, which is featured on my EP,” says Nipho of the track that landed her radio airtime and got her thinking that her project was due.
It took Nipho about five years to release a body of work she felt was good enough for an audience – and the name changed about six times before the seven-track EP ‘The Ghel’ came to be. “This project is so special to me. In the run-up to the release I was selling t-shirt tickets with the cover art on for the launch, which I planned to have at a secret venue for fans,” Nipho says of what soon changed when South Africa went into lockdown a couple of days before then. Admittedly, she panicked, thinking that the buzz around her music and launch would die down, but fortunately, quality music prevails.
I’m responsible for actively engaging with my empowerment and improvement. These songs are an audible representation of my journey to becoming’ The Ghel’ I am today. Some songs don’t have choruses. Some are jazz and mellow hip hop, others only have one verse and a monologue, this EP is Nipho Hurd.
"My artwork was done by Kirsten Diedrick. She’s the fiercest graphic designer I know,” says Nipho of her EP’s cover. “While creating the EP I learnt to trust the process and what works. You may notice that the only featured artist is Neo Ndawo. He produced 98% of the project and is the only other vocalist on the tape. It just works with him. As an experimental artist with no real song structure, I often struggle to work with people as they tell me how they work. Neo Ndawo allowed me to work how I work. I have never trusted someone so much with my music. My team has been the driving force behind me being able to release. They have taken care of me emotionally and mentally, so I can do what I need to do. It’s so important to work with people who value you. Neo Ndawo, Luvuyo Msimango and Skortch Supernova this project wouldn’t have happened without you.”
My EP is a symbol of strength to me. Getting to this point hasn’t been easy. It also symbolises unity – it wouldn’t be possible without my team.
“I think the honesty in which I wrote these tracks is relatable. Nothing is sugar-coated here,” says Nipho whose brave vulnerability shines through in her approach to work. “This EP speaks to POC kids with white families, it speaks to people who have lost… To the independent womxn who wants to work hard to make it and needs a partner to match. It speaks to people who experience mental illness... To people who feel unworthy of love, those who want to follow their dreams, freelancers, womxn who embrace sex and the understanding of their bodies. It speaks to so many. So many can be healed here and stop feeling alone.”