Get To Know: Moonchild Sanelly

This week we’re getting to know South African musician and dancer, Moonchild Sanelly...

The multi-talented artist has collaborated with a range of acts including Ghetts, Gorillaz and Beyonce and is now gearing up to release her second album “Phases”. The album promises a journey across genres, with the latest single “Cute” featuring UK rapper Trillary Banks.

She’ll be touring with the Gorillaz this summer as well as performing at her first headline show in June. We’re super excited to watch Moonchild Sanelly spread her message of empowerment through music across the world!

Get To Know - Moonchild Sanelly
Get To Know - Moonchild Sanelly

1. For those who don’t know about you and your music, tell us a little bit about who you are and where you’re from

I'm Moonchild Sanelly from South Africa.I’m a blue haired bombshell president for the female orgasm, a liberator of women and a body positive motherf*****who makes music to just remind you of your power.

2. Who/what inspired you to start a career in music?

I was surrounded by music so much that someone was going to be the one to represent the family and not just make music to perform at church.

3. Who are your biggest musical influences?

Mam Busi Mhlongo - I once opened a show for her and she said "Don't ever let them change you, you are beautiful”.She's the black pop star that made it internationally from South Africa - an alt example that was a global phenomenon.I love Miriam Makeba especially because I know her story. She's a rockstar, she could marry and divorce at the same time which means nothing is permanent chile. She also managed to be besties with internationally celebrated musicians as a South African international musician.When I knew her story I knew I was going to be THAT girl.For my first ever talent show I sangBrenda Fassie’s"Indaba Yama iStraight”.Letta Mbuli and Caiphius Semenya also, because they've been international songwriters forever.

Then there’s my punk side - Avril Lavigne spoke to me, I grew up on Destiny's Child, Gorillaz, Ludacris (I remember Theatre of the Mind), and I loved Jay Z, Dr Dre and Eminem. I guess that's my hip hop side.Beyoncé plays a big part in how I move, in learning the power of relevance and reinvention, and the importance of having people keeping you updated from the streetsmeans you operate with an open, careful heart.

4. Tell us about the writing and recording process of your new release

The writing process of this release was literally started at the beginning of lockdown, which crazily happened right after I’d almost died of Malaria.Every problem, every piece of pain, it all went in. I wrote and wrote, then got a house in the middle of nowhere andrecorded a LOT of music that covered things I’d not wanted to dive into before. The world stopped and it forced me to look at the dark stuff, the big issues. One of my key collaborators, Lunatik, was really involved from the word go, and we had beats ready.So while everyone was frustrated, we were using that frustration to create, andthe process was really cool.Although the pandemic was (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime thing, the world stopping while Iwrote and recorded an album meant the most intense focus i could imagine.

5. What has been your biggest career highlight so far?


6. Who would you be your dream collaboration and why?

I used to think the word 'dream’meant it's impossible, but now i know dreaming is a form of planning, sowho's NEXT is the question! I'd say Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Bia, Nicki Minaj, Shanseea, Bree Runway and Chlöe Bailey.

7. Have you met anyone and been totally starstruck?

I've met a lot of people and been starstruck - I take it in and keep quiet more than anything else.Someone who was watching when Imet Beyoncésaid that I wasn't as loud as I usually am,but when you meet the queen you show respect and speak when you’re spoken to!

Being involved with Africa Express and collaborating with Damon Albarn on songwriting was crazy - experiencing that mind at work…. maybe starstruck isn’t the word as he was so real & down to earth, but the respect I have for him, his musicality and his work ethic is next level.

8. If you could only listen to one song on repeat for the rest of time what would it be and why?

I would listen to Mood4Eva. It's just a good mood always, a bad b****winning mood.It's like you stay at the Ritz, at the Mandela not at just like any place cause you're a paid motherf*****and they gotta bow down when you pull up. The lights better come on cause you're that bitch and you're written in the stars. And when the stars are out there it's literally your family gathering.

9. What’s on your playlists that people wouldn’t expect?

Nekkid by Muni Long. I listen to one album forever so right now I'm listening to Muni's story telling and it's ridiculous. It's been a month now and it'll probably be another month before I bump into something else that has writing that isinteresting enough to capture my attention and for me to be curious.

10. What can we expect from your live shows?

Expect energy, energy, energy, life, love, anger, inspiration and the freedom demon. I hope you'll be wearing panties cause your legs gon' be in the air by the time I'm done with you.

11. When can we see you live this year?

There are some really amazing things still to announce, but I’m supporting & guesting with GORILLAZ this summer which is pretty incredible, I have XOYO on June 17th - my first headline show in London!! And some amazing festivals too.

'Moonchild Sanelly's new single 'Cute' is out now!'

Latest News