Lady May
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Coffee with Lady May!
By Lahja Nashuuta 06-04-2010

Born Martha Namundjembo, Lady May is one of the most successful and positive-minded Namibian female musicians. Over the years Lady May has become renowned for her unique mixture of music genres and her vibrant and daring dance routines, exhilarating performances and sense of fashion.

She scooped the Channel O (Africa) Music Awards' Best Dance Music Video in 2008 and 2009 for 'Ndota' and 'Chokola' respectively. This week The Southern Times caught up with the vibrant Lady May for a cup of coffee.
Lahja: Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

Lady May: I was born on 20th December 1986 in Angola from exiled parents at Calulo, a small village near Kwanza Sul. Just before independence my parents and I returned from Angola and settled in the Northern part of Namibia. It was in 1994 when I move to Windhoek.
Lahja: Where does the love of music come from?

Lady May: I started singing at the age of six, but it was during my teenage years that I knew that music and performing was my calling and my purpose in life. I personally don't think I inherited this talent from anyone because my family is anti-music and they are more into business.
I remember during my childhood, we used to have two groups of Ndilimani an (Oshiwambo traditional dance) at my village, one for grown up ladies and the other one for the younger ones. I was then a leader of the young group.

Lahja: How do you describe your music?
Lady May: I call it cocktail music, it's a combination of Afro Pop and traditional Oshiwambo Music mixed with Arabic sound, R&B and Hip- Hop. I don't have an exact genre and I don't even want to create one but rather to let the viewers and music lovers give it a label.

Lahja: Who is your choreographer?
Lady May: I do everything myself; from composing lyrics and choreograph.

Lahja: Tell me more about your music journey and your albums?
Lady May: I started with music seriously in 2004 when I released my first single titled the 'Kamaali'. This song meant a lot to me, it was a hit and many people loved the song. Beside that the track also won me an award for Best Female Artist in the Namibian NBC Sanlam Music Awards in the same year.
In 2005 I released my first album titled 'Kamaali', which is the Oshiwambo term for 'Little Martha'. In that same year I was also nominated in the Namibian Music Awards and the NBC Sanlam Music Awards. In 2006 I released my second Album 'Come and Get Me'. In the same year I was also nominated again for both awards NBC/Sanlam music awards and Channel O. In 2007 I got the nomination for Artist of the Year at the Sanlam Music Awards. My third album 'Pink Chokolate' was then released in 2009.

Lahja: You have been performing both locally and internationally, tell me more about your international concerts?
Lady May: I started making the waves over the border in 2007, when I was invited to perform at the Big Brother Africa eviction show in Johannesburg, South Africa. I was also invited to perform at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin, Germany by NGO called AfricAvenir as well as at a YAAM club, a popular reggae club in Berlin.

Lahja: Although you have received recognition for your work nationally and internationally, you still remain with your feet firmly on the ground. What would you say are important ingredients to make it in the music industry?
Lady May: It's important to remember where you come from, who helped you get there and what you need to do to make it in this industry. I believe that respecting your gift, time, being prepared and organized is the key to a professional and successful career. Life is precious but not always easy. It's important to cherish what you have and live life to the fullest instead of complaining about what you don't have.

Lahja: Who is your hero?
Lady May: I lost my parents at an early age, therefore my grandmother is my idol and she is instrumental in the person I am today. She is my hero.

Lahja: What issues do you address through your music?
Lady May: I have been inspired by strong women and I strive to empower young and old alike through my unique and individual style and musical concept. I also address day-to-day issues that are affecting the youth of this country but focused more on entertainment.

Lahja: Being in music industry for years, what are your observations on the arts and culture industry at large?
Lady May: The industry has grown comparing to the past. Our today's music is being acknowledged both locally and internationally. Most of us artists are living off our music. We are living our dream and the most important thing is that we are not only living our dream but we are also becoming entrepreneurs.

Lahja: What message do you have for upcoming artists?
Lady May: All I have to tell them is that guys don't be afraid of challenges and of being who you are meant to be, believe in dreaming non-
stop and always have a positive outlook on life.

Lahja: What don't people know about you?
Lady May: The people only know me as the extrovert and vibrant diva on stage but in reality Martha, the lady behind Lady May, is a very shy person who enjoys reading novels and watching movies. She doesn't't drink alcohol and loves pizza and lots of water. Her passion is singing, acting and dancing and therefore, once on stage, she blossoms and is unstoppable
- Southern Times News Paper


Discography

In 2005 Lady May released her first album ‘Kamaali’, which is the Oshiwambo term for ‘Little Martha’. In 2006 she released her second Album ‘Come and Get Me’. Lady May released her 3rd album ‘Pink Chokolate’ in 2009. Her fourth album titled Tiger Ambition is ready, scheduled to be launched May 28, 2010.

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Bio

Lady May, born Martha Namundjebo, started singing and experimenting with lyrics and styles from a very early age. Her music and fashion sense combine tradition and modern day life to perfection. This can be attributed to her colorful beginnings. She was born on the 20th December 1986 in Angola from exiled parents at Calulo, a small village near Kwanza Sul. Just before independence she returned from Angola and settled in the Northern part of Namibia. In 1994 Lady May came to the capital, Windhoek.
The award winning musician Lady May started to sing from the age of six, but it was during her teenage years that she knew that music and performing was her calling and her purpose in life. In 2004 she won the award for Best Female Artist in the Namibian NBC Sanlam Music Awards with her first single Lady 4 Life. In 2005 Lady May released her first album ‘Kamaali’, which is the Oshiwambo term for ‘Little Martha’. That same year she was nominated in the Namibian Music Awards and the NBC Sanlam Music Awards. In 2006 she released her second Album ‘Come and Get Me’. In 2006 she was nominated again for both awards and in 2007 she got the nomination for Artist of the Year at the Sanlam Music Awards. As from 2007 Lady May started making waves over the border. Namibia was placed on the map when she performed at the Big Brother Africa eviction show in Johannesburg, South Africa and when she won the Channel O (Africa) Music Awards in the category Best Dance Music Video in 2008 and 2009. Lady May released her 3rd album ‘Pink Chokolate’ in 2009. In December 2009, she was invited to perform at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin, Germany by NGO called AfricAvenir and had her second performance at YAAM club, a most popular reggae club in Berlin.
Over the years Lady May has become renowned for her unique mixture of music styles and her vibrant and daring performances and sense of fashion. Lady May attacks the stage in electrifying performance with captivating African beats and rhythms. She has dancing styles and unpredictable movements with unique tricks. When asked what kind of music she brings the talented artist responds “It’s a mixture of Afro Pop and Traditional Oshiwambo Music.” Although she is receiving more and more recognition for her work nationally and internationally, Lady May is a diva with her feet solidly on the ground. “It’s important to remember where you come from, who helped you get there and what you need to do to make it in this industry. I believe that respecting your gift, time, being prepared and organized is the key to a professional and successful career. Life is precious but not always easy. It’s important to cherish what you have and live life to the fullest instead of complaining about what you don’t have.”
Lady May is inspired by life around her, by people and by events. Her music reflects the joys people share in life that are often forgotten. She lost her parents at an early age so was not able to get to know them well, therefore her grandmother is instrumental in the person she is today. She has been inspired by strong women and strives to empower young and old alike through her unique and individual style and musical concept. “Don’t be afraid of challenges and of being who you are meant to be, believe in dreaming none stop and always have a positive outlook on life”.
We know her as the extravert and vibrant diva on stage but in reality Martha, the lady behind Lady May, is a very shy person who enjoys reading novels and watching movies. She doesn’t drink alcohol and loves pizza and lots of water. Her passion is singing, acting and dancing and therefore, once on stage, she blossoms and is unstoppable.
This hard working, positive minded musician is convinced that dreams are there to be achieved. Lady May knows that the music industry is not a piece of cake; it’s tough, crazy, and very competitive. Yet with faith and determination she is reaching for the stars!