Essentials: Namakau Star successfully reinvents herself on debut project, ‘Landing’
Essentials: Namakau Star successfully reinvents herself on debut project, ‘Landing’

Essentials: Namakau Star successfully reinvents herself on debut project, ‘Landing’

an ethereal debut for an artist carving her identity one deeply relatable song at a time

South African soul-fusion singer, Namakau Star started her solo career under the moniker Iindirhe. Her fairly recent name change was a move of reinvention, with the main aim of being authentic. While there’s the innate ‘African’ feel attached to the names, there’s clearly more meaning that symbolises the nominal shift—a Google search shows a result that the name means brave, and another result claims that persons named Namakau are passionate and move on instinct.

The music Namakau Star has been making since debuting in 2021 with “Trance” encapsulates those symbolic meanings, a fundamentally soulful sound that ropes in elements from R&B and hip-hop, along with electronic tinges. It falls on the outré side of South Africa’s urban music spectrum, an instinctive and clearly individual choice that ensure she’s building her image and sound exactly how she wants, establishing herself as the soul goddess.


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Recently, the uNder alum released her debut project ‘Landing’, a soulful 7-track project stamping the budding artist’s credentials as an auteur of immersive and affecting music. With singles such as “Floating” and “Rewind” laying the foundation for her debut, Namakau Star delivers a cohesive and slyly eclectic body of work, turning in gauzy neo-soul cuts, earthy hip-hop-soul bops, along with her ear-tingling vocal melodies and themes that dig into varying facets of the human condition.

In its brisk 30-minute span, Namakau Star traverses ‘Landing’ with sonic explosions and soulful lyricism. The futuristic tape takes listeners to utopia, with an overall feel that’s ethereal. This serene and soulful backdrop provides an efficient background for Namakau to spread her positive ideologies to the universe. She opens the project with a pensive record on time. Tomorrow (Intro) questions your actions on earth over a dreamy synth. Setting the record for the whole project, Namakau Star takes you through an introspective journey accompanied with a melodic background as she displays her vocal range and capability.

2088” coasts on an airy production with a jazz influence. Namakau Star embodies her rap personality as she sings to her muse of the positive energy that surrounds her, dubbing it the mothership. Floating, released earlier on as an announcement to her album, sees her floating over airy synth productions as her R&B prowess exudes all over the song. With every note Namakau hits, she brings out a new surprise and it is evident in Surrender(Interlude). Apart from her strong vocals, the production in the song stands out the most. The pensive instruments compliment Namakau’s desperation in her lyrics she sings, “I am at the edge of the waterfall.”

Rewind, which marked her R&B territory, is a graceful rumination on past romantic experiences and confronting the idea of being able to change things if she were given the chance. In true versatile fashion, the honeyed single has Namakau Star singing in the first half and rapping in the second half. Seazn Luv, featuring LordKeyyZ, is an ode to all lovers. Namakau gets vulnerable in this eclectic number that goes beyond emotional connection and physical touch. Reminding everyone of the power of their sexuality, the chorus keeps on pondering as she sings, “Seazn the soul with Luv.” LordKeyyZ serves as a perfect collaboration partner. His verse is short and precise but his lingering background vocals leave a lasting impression. Breathe, the only other collab song which features Phola, signs ‘Landing’ off on a perfect note, a stunning neo-soul track with a riveting rap verse from its guest.

Throughout the soulful album, Namakau Star puts together a clear and precise message: free yourself and live through the experiences. She takes her listeners on an emotional journey with crisp productions. As she affirms her listeners to believe in themselves more and the essence of positive vibes, the assuredness and serenity is comforting. An exceptional project from an artist reinventing herself, ‘Landing’ is an ethereal debut for the star who is carving her identity one wondrous and deeply relatable song at a time.

Listen to ‘Landing’ here.