|Birth name||Julie Nokulunga Naidoo|
April 6, 1980|
|Years active||2000 - to date|
Lungi Naidoo (born 6 April 1980) is a South African musician. She released a self-titled album in 2007 and it spawned a timeless single, I Will, however she failed to gain any traction. Along with her album, she went almost unnoticed even as I Will enjoyed reasonable airplay on radio. Since then Lungi Naidoo has gone on to release two more albums, I Am, which was nominated for Best R&B album at the 13th Metro FM Music Awards but lost to Danny K's Good Look and the much heralded Black Diamond.
Lungi Naidoo was born Julie Nokulunga Naidoo on 6 April 1980 in KwaDukuza, north of the city of Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. She was born to a black mother, Sibongile Naidoo, of Zulu descent and an Indian father, Moonsamy Naidoo. Lungi Naidoo attended Shakaskraal Secondary School, shortly after matriculating to relocated to Johannesburg to pursue a career in music.
Lungi Naidoo left her KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal home town when she was just 18 years old to pursue a career in music in the city of Johannesburg. She was in the company of her infant daughter and daughter's father, with whom she was still in a relationship. Her daughter's father eventually returned to KwaZulu-Natal but Lungi Naidoo her infant daughter stayed in Johannesburg and she restlessly pursed her music dream. "I always had to consider my daughter. Everything I did was because of her", Lungi Naidoo remarked in a Drum interview.
"When I got here (Johannesburg) I lived in Hillbrow and started off with theatre gigs. I was a singer at the Mardi Gras Theatre in Carnival City. I had been at Mardi Gras for about a year when I heard about the inaugural Coca Cola Popstars. I entered and made it to the top 12", Lungi Naidoo once said of her early years in Johannesburg. She worked as a backing vocalist for Loyiso Bala and the late Lebo Mathosa among others.
Lungi Naidoo met Alexis Faku, a highly sought after producer, songwriter, arranger, and performer; whom she credits with moulding her as an artist. It would be Alexis Faku who would guide her during the production of her 2007 self-titled debut studio album. The album was not a commercial success, it failed to gain any significant traction or catapult Lungi Naidoo's career; however, this was not a reflection on the album itself. At the time Danny K and Loyiso Bala were among, if not the most, prominent R&B musicians in the country but local R&B did not enjoy as much support as other genres such as Kwaito, House, Maskandi and Gospel. Perhaps that album's enduring song was/ is I Will.
In 2013 Lungi Naidoo released her second studio album, I Am. The album was released to moderate success. In that album she worked with prominent musicians Brian Themba and Proverb as well as Bobby G. Gonzales. I Am was nominated for Best R&B album at the 13th Metro FM Music Awards but lost to Bryce Anderson's Ready for the World. Although released six years after the first, I Am proved very important in Lungi Naidoo's career; it garnered her far more public attention than her debut album.
In 2016 Lungi Naidoo was signed to Universal Music South Africa; this was perhaps the turning point in her career as the international label would provide far greater resources than most independent labels. Since signing with Universal Music South Africa she has released her third studio album, Black Diamond. The album was noticeably different to her previous two, it departed from the R&B genre and resemble a Dance/ Electronic style of music. The album even feature a reworked version of her much celebrated I Will, the song featured dance beats as opposed to the original song which was a classic R&B. On Falling and Away With Me, Lungi Naidoo worked with South African House and Dance music maestro, Black Coffee.
The Lungi Foundation
In 2007 Lungi Naidoo founded The Lungi Foundation. The Foundation's activities include HIV/AIDS awareness, provision of uniforms and stationery, facilitation and involvement in extra mural activities, engagement of government and corporate sponsors to raise funds for schools. The Foundation also donates library books, school uniforms, toys and food parcels to impoverished communities.
Lungi Naidoo has a daughter named Elissa. When she (Lungi Naidoo) first moved to Johannesburg as a teenager, it was in the company of her daughter and the father of her daughter. At the time Lungi Naidoo and the father of her daughter were still in a romantic relationship. The father her daughter later returned back to KwaZulu-Natal.
In April 2018, in an interview with Drum magazine, Lungi Naidoo revealed that her daughter's father was shot dead in a hijacking in July 2017. "He was living in KZN and we were in Joburg. Just when they found each other, he died. “I spoke to him three hours before he was shot", Lungi Naidoo was quoted.
Lungi Naidoo was romantically linked to actor musician and one time collaborator, Brian Temba. She initially laughed this off, "Brian and I expecting a baby? First they give me Brian and then they give me a baby. Maybe I need to lose weight. But no, I’m not expecting", she said in a Drum magazine interview.
As now history attest, Lungi Naidoo was in a relationship with Brain Temba. "I didn’t eat and I took sleeping pills day and night. My phone was always off but my family always supported me. My sisters drove from KZN and got into bed with me and we cried together. At the time I was bitter and thought he (Brian Temba) was being cruel because the break-up came from nowhere. The newspapers painted me as a bad and violent girlfriend with a temper", Lungi Naidoo in a interview.
|2007||Lungi||Black Gravity||Debut Album|
|2013||I Am||Black Gravity||Second Album, Nominated for Best R&B at MMA 13|
|2016||Black Diamond||Universal Music South Africa||Third Album|
- Channel 24, ‘It took me 20 years to make it in the music industry’ – Lungi Naidoo, 11 August 2018
- Profile Ability, Lungi Naidoo, 12 August 2018
- The North Coast Courier, Local songbird trending the music charts, 12 August 2018
- News24, Getting to know Lungi Naidoo, 12 August 2018
- All Music, Lungi Naidoo Black Diamond , 12 August 2018
- Reverbnation,Lungi Naidoo, 12 August 2018
- Amazon, Love DJ SBU Feat Lungi Naidoo, 12 August 2018
- iTunes, Owami (feat. Lungi Naidoo) - Single, 12 August 2018
- iTunes, Pieces of Me Black Coffee, 12 August 2018