Y'Cliff is an independent artist who was born in Windhoek, raised in Vaalgras, and has been making waves in the music scene with his hit songs 'Namibian Queen' and 'Drowning In My Feelings'. His hypnotic voice is the kind you want to hear on a chilled Sunday afternoon while preparing lunch or lying down with the bae.
Having fallen in love with music from a young age; the singer, songwriter and NAMA nominee tackles the topic of love from his own experiences and that of those around him.
We had a chat with him about his interests, his influences, nomination and more.
What drew you to music, specifically RnB, and what message are you looking to instill?
Music meant so much to me ever since I was a kid and I’ve been drawn to RnB since then. There’s something special about RnB because it brought joy, healing and redemption - to say the least - which was also one of the reasons why I decided to create my own, in hopes of making people feel the same way I did. Music has always been a coping mechanism hence I put my hurt, regret and/or joy into a song in hopes of connecting with others that might be going through the same situations. I know that almost everyone dealt with self-doubt at some point; and I want people to know that it is okay to make mistakes and/or to fail sometimes, but what matters most is how you react to it. I could easily just sulk and feel sorry for myself, but I turned my heartbreak into a Song of the Year Nomination.
Speaking about your NAMA nomination for SOTY. How did you receive the news, and what does it mean to you?
This is literally my debut single that has been nominated for SOFY and I still got chills down my spine – I am still trying to convince myself that this is legit for real. SOTY is a big deal and I am up against giants of Namibian music which is already a WIN itself and I’m grateful.
The song you're nominated for, 'Drowning in my feelings' what inspired it?
One rarely knows what would affect you mentally or emotionally and sometimes physically when a relationship that meant so much ends abruptly, I was lost and literally drowned in my feelings. This song has been inspired by regret and heartbreak. Heartbreak records are great, but heartbreak isn’t.
Your achievements are impressive for a new artist who is not signed to any record label. What would you say are some of the perks and challenges that come with being an independent artist?
One of the perks that stand out from being independent is that it gives me creative freedom & allows me to write about ideas that actually mean something to me. I don’t focus so much on the challenges but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. Funds aren’t always available and distribution, for me, is a little bit of a challenge.
International and local artist you'd love to collab with moving forward?
I’m a BIG fan of Chris Brown’s music and would love to collaborate with him. I’d also love to work with Tone Stith, Nasty C, Shekhinah, Normani, Drake and Andrea Bocelli for a beautiful symphony. Locally…. Obviously Sally Boss Madam.
What are 4 things your fans do not know about you?
- I'm not a movie/series kinda guy
- I love being around people, and just as much as I love performing or making music, I don’t like it when there are people in studio. I can only record when it’s just me and the producer.
- I love watching sports; particularly Tennis, Formula 1 and Cliff Diving.
- Serena Williams & Rafael Nadal are the two people that drew me closer to tennis which later resulted in me playing the sport myself for a short while back in the day.
Are you currently working on anything?
I’m working on my debut album which is set to drop real soon!