After 10 years of storytelling and creating the soundtrack to many of her fans, Salma Sky has proven that she is continually evolving and reinventing herself time and time again. Her career of great achievements, notable performances, beautiful melodies and lyrics that have brought us either to our feet to dance or our knees to cry, has made her capture the hearts of her fans and music lovers across the borders, whilst still navigating a full personal life as a wife and mother.
At the close of a decade, Salma shares with us her journey of “becoming” and more importantly on who she is yet to become.
With an album releasing on the horizon, a strong promotional single “Pull Up”, is indicative of her new direction, sonic growth and the promise of only great music and visuals ahead.
We caught up with this very talented and exceptional Zambian RnB queen, to talk about her new buttery-smooth single titled ‘pull up’, her upcoming Album FREE and more…
Read the full interview here…
Hype Magazine Zambia: Tell us about your whole inception into music; when did you first gain interest, and how did things begin to take shape?
Salma Sky: Music came to me at a very young age and by the time I was in my late teens and got my moment to step into a friends small home set up studio I was hooked and determined to become the recording artist that I am today. I collaborated with JK on “Kapiripiri” after many underground projects and that was the first commercial exposure for me as an artist.
It’s been only uphill and rewarding since.
Hype Magazine Zambia: Tell us about your upbringing, where did you grow up from and what life experience do you look back and say to yourself that made Salma a person that she is today.
Salma Sky: 3rd out of four children with the blessing of brothers, a sister and great parents, I grew up humble but content. My parents did everything they could within their means to give us great life experiences and become well rounded in our identity. I think those profound moments of self acceptance and exposure to others and accepting others is without a doubt the reason I flourished into the Salma you see today.
Hype Magazine Zambia: You decided to drop modelling for music, is there anything you miss about modelling, how has modelling built you?
Salma Sky: It’s funny because I did do some commercial model work for a very short period and a handful of projects but it seems to have stuck that I had an established modeling career. That was never the case, the career has always been music.
Hype Magazine Zambia: Who do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?
Salma Sky: That’s a tough one. Let’s go with a few ladies shall we? Brandy, Aaliyah, TLC, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Tamia, I mean I could go on and on.
Hype Magazine Zambia: At what particular point in time did you opt to pursue music on a
Salma Sky: In 2012 after growing an extensive catalogue of music and a considerable following both locally and on the continent I figured it was time to pick up the microphone full time. I plunged myself into branding and representing my brand the way I saw best fit as an independent artist. Best decision ever because I’ve definitely had an even more rewarding career since the full time switch. I’ve performed on international stages around the world, collaborated with some of the best Zambian and African musicians and I’m still learning and growing to become greater at my craft.
Hype Magazine Zambia: How do you classify your overall sound and style, would you say Afrobeat is the foundation of your sound?
Salma Sky: I’m an RnB girl through and through. I’ve found a way that on any beat and in any genre I stay true to that because it’s an authentic representation of my love for singing and song writing. I’ve had Afrobeat moments and I’m super proud of my contribution to it but I think ultimately I’m just into making great music; easy on the ears and felt in the heart.
Hype Magazine Zambia: Your latest single is entitled ‘Pull up’ —Tell me about this track specifically; how did it even come to fruition?
Salma Sky: ‘PULL UP’ is my first pre album release. Mae N. Maejor had sent some beats to me and that one stood out right away. Tivo, who does all my vocal production and is the Executive Producer on my album was wowed when I came back with this play on words of a love song with a vibe that just gets you thinking about the person you’re getting to know and trying to become officially with. It’s a fuzzy exciting feeling and so I was channeling the concept of a young, new love. You can definitely ‘pull up’ anywhere with your new love with this song blaring through your speakers and make a statement.
Hype Magazine Zambia: ‘Pull up’ comes courtesy of your upcoming Album, FREE — Conceptually, what does that album title represent to you?
Salma Sky: FREE is the most telling word of how I feel about this project as a whole. It’s been liberating to create the music I’ve made now. The last year has refined me and taught me to be content in this moment about bringing together the best of me to this season in my creative cycle.
FREE to be me and musically emancipated from any labels or expectations as a Zambian artist.
Hype Magazine Zambia: Why ‘Free’, is this title representing a current circumstance in your life? How is the album packaged, who is on it?
Salma Sky: Yes I think I haven’t felt more FREE creatively.
The album has diversity and the room to let one go from track to track and feel the liberation that comes with free flowing, feel good art. The features both local and international are treasured surprises for my fans but we have Hip-Hop favourites and RnB, Dancehall and Afrobeat kings and queens from the continent gracing this project on great beats by amazing producers from here all the way to Europe.
Hype Magazine Zambia: What challenges have you encountered during the pandemic ( Covid-19) while putting this album together?
Salma Sky: I’ve actually enjoyed it even under the unfortunate circumstances with what’s been happening in the world. It was down time much needed to finish the project without the many other distractions that come with our line of work. It’s been pajamas and recording sessions, perfecting what’s already sounding so amazing. Of course we miss being out there, on stage, interacting and living because that’s inspiration for great music too, but it’s a phase with opportunities to explore our internal inspirations.
Hype Magazine Zambia: Is the album a Sky Music project—Is this your very own boutiques imprint?
Salma Sky: This will be the debut album from Sky Music Group as a recording house and growing label. Our roster of artists is looking promising for an unforgettable impact on the Zambian music industry and beyond. You need to watch this space closely.
Hype Magazine Zambia: What do you feel you bring to the music industry that we don’t already have in other performers?
Salma Sky: My sound is enough to distinguish me from my peers. We’re all unique in our own way and are vital to our diversity as an industry. Personally, I am a firm believer in quality over anything and I feel my ability to connect with different music lovers because I push myself to do it all is what makes my brand stand out but trust me the stage act for this album will knock the socks off most.
Hype Magazine Zambia: Have you encountered any problems in getting to this point in your career?
Salma Sky: Nothing too crazy just the usual challenges that come in a smaller industry but that needs time and mind-sets change and that’s understandable, we will get there. However, I’m proud of how far we’ve come but I do think we can do more for women in music and celebrating all female acts. We make great music, give us our flowers while we can still receive them. Also I’d encourage a better “Artist For Artist” culture. When it’s all said and done we only have ourselves and that’s where the love and support should start. Our fans need to learn the culture of spring the art through us.
Hype Magazine Zambia: Which artist would you still want to collaborate with, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Salma Sky: Michael Jackson and Bob Marley. After years of appreciating both their work, I know that given the chance I’d make some beautiful music with both.
Hype Magazine Zambia: If you could play at any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?
Salma Sky: Madison Square Garden.
It’s iconic, history is made there especially in entertainment and even if there are bigger arenas and venues in terms of numbers it’s always been a dream. Royal Albert Hall would be a close second for its exclusivity in comparison and in honour of my British heritage.
Hype Magazine Zambia: Give me one track of yours that you think defines you and why?
Salma Sky: It has to be FREE. You’ll understand why soon.
Hype Magazine Zambia: Having worked with artists both from the international and local scene, is there a thought within you that would like to see an all-female Zambian collaboration that can be as good a beat as a continental afrobeat chart-topper?
Salma Sky: I’d love for us females to make a monster hit that creates a wave and take over. It’s yet to be done and I’m all for being part of that. Maybe now that we’ve put it out there in the universe it’ll happen. Dibs on the hook ladies.
Hype Magazine Zambia: Do you have any other outside/additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?
Salma Sky: Totally, I’m keen on expanding my production horizons as I currently work behind the scenes on a lot of media and advertising campaigns for various successful Zambian businesses. I’m also looking to start different business ventures aligned with the Salma Sky brand that are not music-related but fit nicely with my lifestyle, value system and interests.
Hype Magazine Zambia: Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?
Salma Sky: I see me at the very least,
5 great award-winning, record-breaking, unforgettable albums.
4 major life-changing investments
3 successful businesses up and running.
2 talented and thriving artists under my management.
1 unapologetically fulfilled Salma Sky; wife, mother, artist and entrepreneur.
Hype Magazine Zambia: As for the immediate, what’s next for you, Salma?
Salma Sky: I’ll definitely be focused on promoting and touring once the Covid-19 is over for the FREE album and creating more music and synergies with other artists by taking my sounds beyond our borders, to the world with lasting cross over appeal. That’s my main focus right now.
Hype Magazine Zambia: Any closing thoughts for our readers?
Salma Sky: I hope that even as the brand grows we can grow together, we can embrace change and celebrate the highs together as we are elevated and called to represent our country’s musical abilities. I’m so glad to have my supporters go on this journey with me. It’s the fuel I need to keep at it and make my mark in the world. I appreciate every single one of you.
Check out Salma Sky’s ‘Pull Up’ here: