Enchanting vocals, effortless style and fearlessness — are a few words that come to mind when trying to describe the Cape Town-based singer-songwriter, Luh’ra. Since breaking into the local indie music scene in 2017, Luh’ra has been an unstoppable force in more ways than one.

In addition to being a masterful musician and vocalist, she has also expressed her creativity through her unique style and bold fashion ventures. We were lucky enough to chat with Luh’ra about her musical journey, her admiration for local designers, and what inspires her expressiveness when it comes to fashion. 

From Band Camp to a Studio Album

[Luh’ra performing with her core band Tiana Amari (bassist), Tefo Mahola (drummer) and Keegan Steenkamp (trumpeter) at Gorgeous George in Cape Town. PHOTO: James Cameron Heron]

According to Luh’ra, there are many layers to unpack her start in the music industry. She started playing the guitar at only 10 years old. She continued with classical music instruction throughout her schooling. “My friends always made fun of me because they would always bring up that I used to go to band camp and that I used to play in the band at school,” she says laughingly. 

Today, Luh’ra has an EP, Luh’ra Luv, and album, Nice, to boast. She is an advocate for vulnerability and this is evident in her music. Luh’ra’s sound is recognisable and endowed with emotional resonance and tranquil melodies. By revealing personal feelings and moments in her lyrics, she compels her listeners to do the same.

Luh’ra has a profound fondness for her core band. However, she recently experienced being without her core band when touring to Johannesburg in the promotion of her album Nice. “This was quite stressful for me. I don’t really enjoy having to play with the new band. But it was good for me to learn that I can do it if I really need to,” she says. 

Luh’ra is Giving It All When it Comes to Creative Direction and Styling

On 3 June 2022 Luh’ra released her single titled ‘Give It All’ featuring AndyMkosi. The single was accompanied by a music video that was styled and co-creative directed by Luh’ra herself. According to her, ‘Give It All’ is about learning to take a step back and not giving too much of yourself to situations that don’t require it. “I feel like I’m always giving so much of myself. [‘Give It All’ is] about situations where you just keep giving so much of yourself and actually you shouldn’t be doing that,” Luh’ra explains. 

The song’s music video consists of three different scenes which are styled to relate to the message of the song, and each features a specific colour -— pink, red, and black. “I tried to style the video as three different characters in relation to the different phases of a situation when we just give too much,” she says. According to Luh’ra, the colours represent different levels of strength. 

Luh'ra in Wanida Boutique
[Luh’ra wearing local brand Wanida Boutique in the all-black scene of her music video ‘Give It All’. PHOTO: Keith Virgo]

The pink setting shows a kinder side of character, one in which minor irritations are easily overlooked. A red scene indicates anger and an emotional outburst — when you’re at your lowest point and fed up — depicted by an all-black scene. 

When it comes to styling and creative directing, this is no first for Luh’ra. She has directed music videos for other musicians and is often asked to style her own shoots.

Finding the Balance

When it comes to styling, Luh’ra says it’s all a similar process to the one she followed when styling the ‘Give It All’ music video. “I enjoy working with local brands and I have good relationships with quite a few designers locally,” she says, adding that she is drawn to specific styles, but that it’s great to be able to choose clothing that’s going to fit in with a different scenario. “If I have access to something that is an item or garment, I kind of build the shoot or the creative direction around the clothing,” she adds. 

Through her “just trying to have fun”, Luh’ra has created a personal style that is impeccably curated and unique. Her passion for local designers as well as thrifting has resulted in a very recognisable look for this artist. 

Luh'ra by Nic Loupis
[Luh’ra wearing local brand Paten Mash in promotion of her single ‘Give It All’. PHOTO: Nic Loupis]

Even from a very young age, Luh’ra has always enjoyed fashion. “I think a lot of people would sometimes maybe say things which should have made me feel weird about it, but I just always did my own thing,” she says. Luh’ra has always been interested in thrifting as well because it is a guaranteed way to find an exclusive piece of clothing that nobody else will have. “I like it when an item finds me rather than looking for a specific type of thing,” she says.

Luh’ra was lovely enough to share her highlight reel of local brands with us. Here are a few honourable mentions:

Uni Form (@uniformza)

Uni Form, by Luke Radloff, is a local luxury brand. Luh’ra had the chance to wear this brand in Johannesburg when she performed at Feel Good Series Live. Luh’ra shares some of her favourite aspects of Uni Form. “The quality, the cuts, the fabrics. It’s well designed and so thought through that the complex appears simple,” she says.

Luh'ra in Uni Form
[Luh’ra wears Uni Form at Feel Good Series Live in Johannesburg. PHOTO: Sourced/Luh’ra]

Artho Eksteen (@arthoeksteen)

“Artho Eksteen’s mind is a wonderland,” says Luh’ra. Bold hand-drawn illustrations are displayed across the simple silhouettes and he often experiments with fun textures such as wool and mohair.

Luh'ra 'Nice' EP
[Luh’ra wears Artho Eksteen to promote her Nice EP launch. PHOTO: Thandekile Mkize]

W35t (@w35t_

Designer Nicola West is a friend of Luh’ra’s, they have known each other for a few years. “Each item is an artwork as she experiments through paints and dying to represent fabrics in unexpected ways,” says Luh’ra. At her Nice album release party, Luh’ra wore a dress by W35T.

“At W35T we celebrate the joy of living an authentic life and this is why we love seeing our clothes on Luh’ra, who wears the clothes in her unique and uncompromising way. We are happy to collaborate with her and be a part of her creative process as she puts good vibes into this world. We like good vibes!” says Nicola.

Luh'ra in W35T
[Luh’ra wears a W35T dress at her EP launch. PHOTO: James Cameron Heron]

Luh’ra is adept when it comes to pulling off androgynous looks in a straightforward way. This is a mixture of her everyday style and stage looks. “It’s so funny because I feel like how I dress on stage, compared to how I dress every day is so different because it’s like hyper-feminine when I perform,” she says. 

However, Luh’ra is able to pull off ‘hyper-feminine’ looks without coming across as stereotypically feminine. She has the effortless edge that most people spend hours curating because of the way she puts her own twists on clothes and the way she styles them.

Face Painting

When it comes to makeup, Luh’ra enjoys experimenting with bold eye colours and expressing herself through makeup as yet another creative outlet. A makeup artist and friend, Dazed Fay (@faysfantasy_), has done some of Luh’ra’s most iconic makeup looks. 

“A lot of my makeup for my press images and for my music video and the covers of my artworks have been done by Dazed Fay. We met actually for the first time for the music video, [“Give It All”]. She’s just such a sweetie, and we’ve become really good friends ever since,” Luh’ra shares.

Dazed Fay Luh'ra makeup
[Luh’ra on the cover of her album Nice, with her makeup done by Dazed Fay. PHOTO: Thandekile Mkize]

While Luh’ra is fully capable of painting her own face, she says she prefers having her makeup done by a professional. “It’s always nice to get someone else to do things for you because you know that they’re going to do a better job,” she says. She, however, has a number one rule when it comes to makeup — go all out, makeup is the cherry on top to complete an outfit. 

The Final Touches for Luh’ra

Luh'ra in Artho Eksteen
[Luh’ra spots dress by local designer Artho Eksteen. Makeup by Dazed Fay.  PHOTO: Thandekile Mkize]

Being a celebrated virtuoso as well as a style icon is no easy feat. Luh’ra, however, pulls it off with a certain grace that many take years to achieve. Her passion for local designers, thrifting, and unconventional makeup looks have made Luh’ra one to watch — both in the music scene and the fashion world. Be sure to check out her local designer style guide on her Instagram account (@luh.ra).  Luh’ra’s next performance will be on 13 October at the Blue Room in Cape Town.


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.