Although she is not well known for her voice like she deserves, one of the Namibian best female artists, Esmeralda Katjikuru, popularly known as Esme, does not only have a unique artistry, gift, and vocal power but is one of the most versatile singers in the local music industry.
Following her for the past few years since her breakthrough, Esme has risen to the level of greatness, something that many artist struggle to do, being pure and splendid. Since the release of her 12-track debut album, Perfect Plan, she has since been working on singles and performing. You might have seen her perform at various platforms in Windhoek such as the /Ae//gams Festival, Miss Namibia, Miss Tourism, Namibian Music Awards (NAMAs), Windhoek Jazz Festival, Esme has surely been making she lives an impression wherever she steps.
Timeout’s Selma Neshiko sat down with the singer to get to know her better and know what she is all about…..
Tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from and an interesting fact if you like…
I’m a small town girl or village girl from Maltahöhe. I was raised by my single mother who did an amazing job and it’s her great mentorship and support that I am able to do what I do now. Pursuing my love for music. An interesting fact about myself is that I am very good at telling jokes and making people laugh their lungs out… (lol)
Is there a story behind your name, Esme?
Esme is short for my name, Esmeralda. According to the Urban Dictionary:
Probably the nicest person you will ever meet. People’s whose names are Esmeralda are usually the prettiest, smartest, and nicest. Every girl wants to be like her and every guy is afraid to ask her out because of the fear of rejection. Usually will end up being voted prettiest, or Valedictorian. Overall, the most perfect person ever.
How long have you been singing?
I started singing as a small girl in church. I have been singing for many years since before I knew that I wanted to become an artist.
What first got you interested in becoming a singer?
Singing makes me feel happy. It’s natural, I didn’t go for singing classes or was coached to sing. It all came natural. Praised and worshipped in church growing up. The ability to give praise to my Lord in that way. It’s one of the most amazing things I am able to do for Him.
What/who inspires your music?
My music is inspired by what’s happening around me or the message I need to send out to the world at that point in time.
Do you see being a singer as a career, or as a hobby?
It’s both. I sing to relax and have fun but I also use it to put bread on the table. I’m blessed to be able to use a God-given talent I am good at to make a living.
What are you trying to do with your music?
I want to add love and joy to people’s lives through my music. If it’s a gospel song, to minister to them and give them renewed faith or if it’s a love song for them to enjoy their love and get lost in a beautiful world, be it an African dance song…for them to dance to the rhythm.
Which was your most memorable performance?
One of my highlight performance was when I performed for Children in the Cancer Ward in the hospital. Each song would end with a tear, but it taught me that in life, there’s so much we can be grateful for.
Do you want to help your community?
Yes I do. I believe that’s part of my calling. To make a difference in someone’s life. My latest project is the Mass Choir Initiative for which we currently are holding auditions. This looks at making a difference and positively influencing the lives of the youth from different walks of lives and talents through music.
Are you trying to get rich?
I’m simply doing what I love, and if that brings riches then that’s a bonus. I will embrace the riches that come with it.
What is your goal with your music?
To become a world renowned artist. That I no longer have to introduce myself in Namibia. For people to know me. That will mean I am making great music and people love it.
What are some of your accomplishments that you are most proud of?
Performing for the former president and also the current president at the State House playing and accompanying myself on the piano. I am proud of myself for that.
What tip would you give to other aspiring independent artists?
First of all you should really be passionate and love music. That love for music and the passion will keep you going when you meet the hurdles.
Our fans, supporters, family, the band, dancers are the ones we owe the biggest gratitude to.
What do you see in the future in the music industry?
Namibia’s music industry is growing and the support for artists in the country is also increasing. I believe that we will be able to do much more in the future. Produce better quality music.
How do you think it will evolve/change?
We are getting more access to equipment to produce better quality products and the people in the music industry are equipping themselves more, so we will be able to do better. We are reaching the international standards.
Do you feel like the internet is helping you as an independent artist?
Yes. The internet is definitely a great help. It’s a good way to be known as an artist by those who have never been to your shows such as having a YouTube channel.It helps with marketing events too.
How do you think social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have affected the music industry?
It’s intertwining and connecting artists from all over the world. As well as people who can hear our music. So this way anyone anywhere in the world can buy your music once they know your music through these platforms.
Where can we hear your music online?
You can check out my new YouTube channel. My channel name is Esme Katjikuru. I will be posting more frequently in the future. As well as my Facebook page (Esme K).
What projects are you working on at the moment?
Besides my previous mentioned project, Mass Choir, I am working with a few artists on Save the Rhino Trust song. Watch the space, on my new single titled: Champion, feat Dee’A and Franklin and the rest is supposed to be a surprise.
Where do you see yourself in Five-10 years’ time?
I want to have won one of the major awards at the NAMAs, performing internationally and a few albums under my name.
Do you have any shootouts you want to give?
My mom. My role model, my ‘Krag Stassie’. Madame Clementine Swartbooi
My lovely sis Eva Fritz, mwah sis
My friends and the one reading this