13 Jul The WIRE interviews Moonchild Sanelly and talks new single “BASHIRI”

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  • Moonchild Sanelly signs with Transgressive Records
  • Drops new single “Bashiri”
  • Song controversially examines exploitation in SA churches
  • Drops epic psychedelic video


Our favourite provocateur, Moonchild Sanelly, recently announced signing with Transgressive Records. Her first offering from the label is single “Bashiri”, an Amapiano Electro banger. Transgressive describes Sanelly as “uncompromising, groundbreaking and immediately distinctive, as soon as you’ve encountered Moonchild, you won’t forget it. Easily one of the most intoxicating voices, writers, performers and spokespersons we’ve ever had.” Equally ecstatic, says Moonchild: “I’m super excited to finally find a label that ‘gets it’ and is ready to fly my message across the world. It’s about to get Globally LIT. I’m excited AF.”

The Wire spoke to Moonchild about her new single:


The Wire: Is “Bashiri” a single or part of a full album or EP release?

Moonchild Sanelly: “Bashiri” is a single that will be part of the EP or possibly an EP deluxe currently in production. There are still more tracks being worked on.


TW: What does “Bashiri” mean?

MS: Bashiri is a boy’s name in Arabic that’s means “bringer of good news”.


TW: What inspired “Bashiri”?

MS: My inspiration for the song came from the stories I have heard from South African church goers who wholeheartedly believe in pastors performing miracles in their lives. So this is just role play. The song is from the perspective of a Bashiri disciple whose husband was cheating; in the song, she’s lamenting her relationship and takes her husband to her pastor, who promises that he can perform this miracle to make her husband faithful.

TW: What message or story does “Bashiri” contain?

MS: Everything is in your hands, you can change it. Not only by praying for it, but by working towards making that change happen.


TW: Was this written during the lockdown phase?

MS: Actually no, I wrote the song last year, when I was performing in Austria. After my shows I went to the studio and made magic.

TW: Did working during lockdown contribute anything to your normal creative process?

MS: The main difference is that I have been recordeding in the comfort of my own home and not having to go to studio, where you usually meet up with lots of people, and I come with my people too. So it’s just been me and the producer. Writing during lockdown has made me realise I’ve got a lot to say; having more time to myself has allowed me to see that. Its just more private working this way.


TW: Which producer did you work with for “Bashiri”?

MS: I worked with is Aramboa, who is really amazing. I have just finished working with him on a remix of another song called “Nudes”.


TW: Is there any lyric you especially like in “Bashiri”

The lyrics I like the most are ‘Amen, Hallelujah’ mainly because I can sing the song anywhere in the world and people will be able to sing along to that part whether they understand the rest of the song or not. I guess I like its universality.

TW: Do you still write from a poetry perspective when it comes to you lyrics?

MS: I think poetry has a huge part to do with my song-writing because I write stories all the time. I just don’t write the same poems as before; now I write poems to a beat.


TW: How do you describe the sound of “Bashiri”?

MS: Bashiri is a combination of amapiano and electronic. Since the song’s inception there have been parts that I danced to that reminded me of the amapiano genre and some electro beats. I wanted there to be a South African aspect to the track, even when it is meant for global consumption.


TW: Have you missed performing during lockdown?

MS: I’ve definitely missed performing to a live audience. Performing to a camera is just not the same.


But we work with what we have, the show must go on, but I definitely miss the stage with a live audience. I miss the people’s energy.


You will though see me perform “Bashiri” as soon as the country and the world opens up! It’s a beautiful thing that we as artists have at least started working by doing TV performances and livestreams and the like. In the mean time, I have been giving my Moonbeams a teaser of the song on my livestream shows.


TW: Will there be a remix?

MS: I‘m not sure, but if I had to have a remix I would like to feature Doja Cat.

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