Naidoo recently dropped her album Black Diamond with a major feature from Black Coffee on the popular tune ‘Falling’. The album is already receiving love from the public and promises to top charts.

Born and bred in Kwa-Dukuza in KwaZulu-Natal, Lungi fell in love with music when she was 10. As a little girl Lungi was exposed to the sounds of legendary songbirds Brenda Fassie, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, who inspired her.

We sat down with the rising star to talk music, inspiration and how the two worlds meet.

GQ: What’s your favourite thing about going back home to Kwadukuza, KwaZulu-Natal?

LN: The drive to KZN itself. It’s soothing and relaxing. I love the sunrise over the sea, as well as going to the beach. That’s still my favourite thing to do.

GQ: Have your family and friends always been supportive of your decision to enter the entertainment industry?

LN: My parents always knew that I was gonna sing, what they didn’t, and still don’t like is the industry I’m. They know of the ups and downs of the music industry and how it can not be stable, that still worries them. However, because they know it’s my passion, they support me a hundred percent.

GQ: Is music something you always wanted to do?

LN: I love music and I love writing songs. It’s something I have had a passion for from a very young age. I would write and sing and it really made me happy. I have always sang from very young age. I would like to think I was born to sing and write music that empower woman.

GQ: What’s your earliest memory of being a singer or wanting to sing?

LN: When I was 10 every Christmas the church choir would sing for the community, my two sisters were both in the choir, so I would tag along hoping to sing for them so they could add me as a member. I learnt all their songs and when they rehearsed they would allow me to sing with them. On Christmas day when it was time to perform, I got up to sing with them and they pushed me to the back of the choir until I literally was pushed to a seat. That didn’t discourage me though, two years later I was the lead vocalist of the choir and local band.

GQ: You worked with renowned DJ Black Coffee, how was that experience like?

LN: Working with Black Coffee has been truly amazing. I worked with him on his album Pieces of me and then on my album, Black Diamond. When I wrote Love on fire on Pieces of Me, we were both in studio and it was created from scratch from the production to the lyrical content. With Falling & Away with me I worked with Ribatone on the pre- production and Black Coffee took the production with him overseas and finished the mix there. It was a lot of back and forth fixing the vocals and changing the music, a little stressful but eventually we killed.

GQ: What’s the best career advice you have ever received?

LN: There can only be one Lungi Naidoo, don’t try to fit in just do you.

GQ: What has been your best and most memorable gig so far?

LN: Working with Black Coffee, I get to perform on some really memorable stages, but if I had to choose, it would be the recent DSTV Delicious Festival in Midrand, Johannesburg. The crowd, band, my voice and everything was so in sync, it was magical. I had the best time.

GQ: What would be your dream gig?

LN: My dream gig, would have me on stage with a full band, dancers and an orchestra as part of my performance. The stage could be in Africa or anywhere in the world, that won’t matter, as long as those elements are there.

GQ: Your song Away With Me has been getting a lot of airplay all over Africa, what inspired it?

LN: I wrote away with me as a letter to my daughter. We were going through a really tough time, I looked at her and thought; ‘If I could just make things right, we could just fly away from all this misery’. That’s how the song came about.

GQ: You are often compared to American actress Sanaa Lathan, do you see the resemblance?

LN: In 2000 when the movie Love & Basket Ball first came out, I got calls from people saying I looked like the lead, I didn’t agree with them. It’s only recently over 10 years later that I see some kind of resemblance.

GQ: What keeps you inspired?

LN: I allow all my experiences to keep me going. My life is filled with love and that’s my main inspiration.