Breaking into the RnB and hip-hop space is a challenging task alone. Now, add bursting on to this male-dominated scene as a solo-female musician — the battle increases tenfold. Local songstress Scintilla, however, breaks down how to establish yourself in the industry with ease. This multifaceted musician unpacks her journey of setting goals, setting boundaries, setting yourself up for success in the face of adversity, and remaining authentic in the process.

Scintilla can best be described as adventurous, loving and just the right amount of weird. Her music, much like herself, has an air of newness, authenticity, and fearlessness. This South African artist is creating a name for herself in the hip hop and RnB space with her distinctive sound and heartfelt lyrics.

Scintilla finds her voice

Scintilla December 2021 by Tśele
Scintilla in December 2021 ‘At the Motel’ PHOTO: Tśele (@melanateyourmood)

Scintilla’s passion for music dates back to her early years. She felt an overwhelming pull towards music, to the point where she had to start creating her own. She attributes a large facet of her creative energy to artists such as Steve Lacy, Kevin Parker, and Mia Gladstone. She also tends to draw inspiration from alternative scene artists such as Yeek, Dounia, Yelle, and Orion Sun. 

Locally, Scintilla’s work is influenced by fellow artists such as Yamiko, Naye Ayla, Halo Yagami, and Midnight Hubris. “The list goes on and on, but the artists focused on creating their own new wave have my attention,” she adds.

Embracing femininity and creating Fables

Scintilla has had to overcome many obstacles in her career as a single female musician in a predominantly male profession. She encourages other women to believe in themselves first, develop their talents and skills, and laugh at anyone who attempts to make them feel inferior.

She thinks that the success of the Cape Town music scene depends on people helping each other out and avoiding the formation of exclusive groups. Staying true to these values are what led to the creation, and co-creators, of her first project, Fables.

Scintilla Fables Album Cover
Cover art for debut album ‘Fables’, co-produced by Midnight Hubris. PHOTO: Tśele (@melanateyourmood)

In the production of Fables, Scintilla followed a methodical and flow-oriented creative process. She was very deliberate about getting it done and making sure it sounded the way she and her collaborators, Midnight Hubris and Bvse, had envisioned it.

“We gave it everything we had with the resources at hand at the time, and didn’t expect it to bloom the way it did,” Scintilla explains, adding how each subsequent stage came naturally to her. 

During the development of the project, there was a relaxed and open atmosphere, thus tasks like writing, producing, and sound selection came with no difficulty.  The next step for Scintilla to do is to give herself the opportunity to improve her musical skills while also having more fun with it.

On to the next

Scintilla aspires to one day open her own recording studio, where she may practice sound engineering and continue her career as a producer. Her mission is to remove all barriers to entry for creative musical collaboration.

Silkour OnLife Interview with Scintilla
Scintilla during her interview with Silkour OnLife. PHOTO: Lehlohonolo Cheezay (@prince_cheezay)

She wants to have a long and true career, but is not prepared to compromise her integrity to get there. “I’m not desperate to see every success come at once, and I’m definitely not willing to sacrifice my authenticity for it,” she explains.

She continues to make moves towards showing up as confident and secure in who she is, constantly pushing herself to grow and improve when she finds new sources of motivation. She wants to achieve success, whether that means winning a Grammy or simply learning to be grateful no matter what happens.

Stimorol Flow Lab Scintilla
Scintilla for Stimorol Flow Lab in October 2022. PHOTO: Lehlohonolo Cheezay (@prince_cheezay)

Scintilla is a breath of fresh air in Cape Town’s music scene. Her unique sound and honest lyrics have garnered her attention, and she shows no signs of slowing down. With her adventurous spirit and love for music, Scintilla is definitely one to watch in the coming years.

Author

It’s a good thing I’m better at my job than I am at driving. Otherwise, we’d all be in big trouble. On the note of things I enjoy more than driving, the local music scene is very dear to my heart — put me in a crowd in front of a band instead of behind the steering wheel any day of the week.

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