If you haven’t heard of singer, performer, and Idols South Africa season 11 finalist Lungisa Xhamela, we are surprised, but we are here to introduce you him to you. Xhamela reached the T0p 8 and he was a firm favorite. Even though he didn’t win the ultimate title during the show, he has become his own star and has been nailing it from the moment the show ended.
Speaking of nailing it, Xhamela knows how to kill it in the style department as well. GQ caught up with the Eastern Cape-born star, whose first taste of fame was at 12 years old when he was cast for an AA insurance advert, to chat music, Idols, and new music.
GQ: You left Idols South Africa and even if you didn’t win, you have stayed on people radars and have continued to have a fan base. How did you do that?
LX: Idols is a huge competition. Millions of people watch the show, and that is something I went into the competition looking to capitalize on. One of the things that I managed to do was to stay connected with my supporters via social media as I believe it is one the most powerful tools to keep relevant these days. I use social media to interact with the people who believe in me and that keeps me in their hearts and minds.
GQ: What did Idols do for you?
LX: Idols definitely gave me a bigger fan base. The show challenged me to tap deeper into my talent and give my all.
GQ: As a young upcoming musician, what are some of the lessons the industry has taught you so far?
LX: One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned as an upcoming musician is to stay in your lane. Never compare your journey with others. Be original and as genuine as you can be.
Xhamela performs his latest single Think About It
GQ: There’s often a perception that being famous means groupies, is this the case with you and how do you handle it?
LX: I wouldn’t say I have groupies but I do have very loyal supporters and how I handle it is to just show genuine love back to them.
GQ: Artists need to often tap into a particular genre when they enter the music industry, which one have you tapped into?
LX: Since Idols, I’ve released 3 dance singles, but the music I’m working on now is more laid back and soulful. My current sound is a lot more musical, it brings out my voice more and it speaks to a bigger audience. Afro Soul and Neo Soul are where I’ve tapped into now.
GQ: Who inspires you musically?
LX: My biggest influence internationally is Musiq Soulchild. I just love how his music makes me feel and how he manages to play with his voice as an instrument.
GQ: You are always dapper, where did you get your sense of style?
LX: I guess I learned to look dapper from my dad. I believe image is everything and it is one of the most important aspects of a brand.
GQ: What’s your dream for yourself as an artist?
LX: My ultimate dream is to be the best artist in the country, and thereafter taking over the world and doing global tours. I want to inspire young upcoming artists and help them achieve their goals.
GQ: Your five style tips for the GQ reader
LX: Be unique, rather be over-dressed than under-dressed, a perfect fit makes a huge difference, less is more and wear it with confidence.