Zambians know Salma Sky for her sultry vocals; she began her music career in 2009 and in the last five years has released multiple singles, most recently she was heard collaborating on Sulu’s “Ruby Ruby”.
Her latest offering is the hot new single “Non-Stop” Remix which features Zambia’s very own Dancehall and Reggae artist Cactus Agony. Speaking to Salma on the eve of the video release of “Non-Stop”, she refers to the song as a no-brainer, adding, “Cactus and I had worked together on the song “Loveboat” on his album almost two years ago. Since then we have done Kariba Music Festival together and support each other’s work. It was easy for us to work together again, he heard the track and was eager to be involved.”
Listening to “Non-Stop” you have to appreciate the fact that this Zambian-Dancehall inspired song has international appeal, thanks in part to producer Tivo Shikapwashya. Salma spoke about the sound of the song and the decision to make a remix, “This is actually the remix to the original which features Cleo and is more R&B. We thought dancehall sound might be more appealing for a remix because it is more relatable to the Zambian sound. “
I had the opportunity to interview Salma for this new single and she spoke with me very candidly about the project.
Q: You are trying out a new sound with your new single, why take a risk?
SALMA: It’s a calculated risk as a businesswoman, for me it’s about being an artist. I can’t do what people expect of me in terms of Zambian music and what they know me for. There has been a shift in the last few years of people listening to more House and Hip-Hop. I feel like whether its dancehall or R&B people don’t care if its not our typical Dunku Dunku sound.
Q: What can fans expect to hear on this album?
SALMA: I think people are supportive of me and although my fan base is waiting for more R&B and English records they know there is another side of me. This album has given me creative gratification; I have a lot of other English songs on the album different to non-stop. Production wise I feel like we put in 110% and whatever feedback we get we can grow from that. I don’t think it is anything to be afraid from, I commend people who dare to be different and I can’t do that while staying in my shell.
Q: How was the collaborative experience of making the album?
SALMA: I worked with Sky Management group and as an unsigned artist I was able to work with so many different producers. I’ve been allowed to work with different writers and producers, from unknowns to great Zambian writers, especially on the vernacular songs. When people hear it there will be something on it for everyone. “
Q: How did you approach the making of the album keeping your fan base in mind?
SLAMA: I’ve been versatile, it’s a story of my journey and I needed that for my first album. My vocals are very signature so it doesn’t matter about the genre, my vocals have a style and arrangements that people connect with.”
When speaking of her career Salma says, “Looking back I have a body of work and I don’t have a project and now is the time to give people an album. This album has clean songs that little kids will be able to enjoy and find catchy, I found my six year old son catching onto songs.” It also appeals to teenagers and older people because of the themes explored in the music. You can expect this album to be diverse in terms of genres, “I want to part of bringing R&B back but I also have diversity, I have a house track, Zed Beats and even something Kalindula inspired.”