Funeka Peppeta

GSE present Funeka Peppetas

My life as a musical performer… is a very bold opening statement and one that I hadn’t always believed in. Though singing is something that I have always, always loved it was only when my older sister overheard me singing to myself in my room as a young 16 year old that I let myself imagine, just for a second, that it could be my life. It was her who told me that I could really sing and that I should show off my talent at the very first South African Idols. I made it to the top 75 contestants… that was almost 10 years ago.

Most people might think that to be devastating experience but I had a different perspective. I now knew that my voice was my gift and my talent and that the world wanted to hear it. Throughout primary school and high school I’d taken part in small scale productions but with my newly acclaimed confidence and affirmation, it was time for this small town girl with a big voice to make the move to Joburg.

I had many opportunities in Joburg to practise and enhance my skill, no… my art. I studied and completed a BA degree in live performance at AFDA (Film and Drama Academy) and during these fun few years I learnt a lot about myself and my industry. While exploring my independence and the eclectic and energetic world of the arts I jumped at every chance to get onto the stage. This meant performances on stage ranging from fun 80’s musical tributes to lead character roles in the Island and Vagina Monologues. I even made some home town appearances at the Eastern Cape Opera House.

 

I will never forget the feeling I had standing in front of an audience for my final year musical stage production. I had successfully written, produced and performed in front of the people I cared most about in the world – my family and my peers – using inspiration from my personal music icons and heroes. I knew then that this was what I wanted to sleep, eat and breathe for the rest of my life, this magnificent feeling of being a performing artist. My show won best stage production in 2006, another affirmation that I was on the right path.

 

When I left university to make it on my own as a singer, I found myself getting involved in a lot of different aspects of the entertainment industry. While taking on the role of Co-owner and entertainment producer in my own business Mood Mechanics I did a lot of corporate singing and acting work. I also did some jingles and some radio slots on Yfm, I did some T.V. work and presenting but my favourite part has been writing and exploring what my sound is. Putting myself out there has lead to some fantastic personal and commercial discovery.

 

I was scouted by an overseas producer who invited me to the U.S.A to work on some music and look at developing my talent. That was a great incentive for me to really throw myself into my work and my writing. The great thing about opportunity is that it can have a ripple effect, especially if you can maintain a positive and persevering attitude. I entered Idols season 6 and made it to the top 12, really putting me on the map in the South African music scene.

 

This has opened so many doors for me, including being contracted to perform with well known South African hit group Gang of instrumentals and Jamali as well as 2 singing tours to Bangkok for Nelson Mandela’s Birthday celebrations and an amazing once in a lifetime performance in Sri Lanka. Currently I am working on my solo project with Water Music and some amazing local SA producers to bring you material that is honest, relatable and without boundries. The future seems to be looking bright and prosperous and without wanting to sound cliché I do feel that from here on out the sky is the limit.

 

“You have to discover you, what you do, and trust it” – Barbera Streisand.