N’den is a musical duo consisting of vocalist Thulile Zama and pianist David Smith.
The duo met in the early 2000s while studying music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Now that they have released their debut single, we caught up with Thulile.
How did you and Zama come together to create N’den?
We’ve been friends for 17 years and we work well together as a musical team. It was a natural progression especially since we’ve been gigging together for a while now. A duo is also much easier to manage than a band as there’s just the two of us.
Please tell me about the name N’den, what does it mean and how did it come about?
N’den is really derived from the words “And Then” which implies “what’s next?”. We’re on a journey musically and it’s all about the adventure for us.
How would you describe your music?
Our music is soulful, drawing on R&B, Neo-soul and jazzy influences. We both studied jazz at UKZN so jazz is really the foundation on which we build. Improvisation is also a feature in our live performances as well.
Tell us about Coffee in the Morning. When did you start working on it?
“Coffee in the Morning” melody came in a dream mid July last year.
The melody was stuck in my head for weeks, and I eventually sent a voice note to David, which he sent back the gorgeous chords, so it took one afternoon to get the lyrics down.
I love its playful and simple nature, so we kept it “simple” “feel good” and uncomplicated.
How would you describe the lyrical content of this single?
Coffee in the Morning represents the simple things that we do for each other when we love one another to make your partner feel loved and appreciated. There is a part of the song that says “you love me so good, I don’t have to wonder, cause you show me” and we believe that it’s the everyday things (like your partner brewing you coffee).
What do you hope people take away from this single?
Love, today. Be creative, you do not have to wait to have money for your partner to feel valued. It is the little, everyday things that count
Are there any plans to release an album?
Yes, definitely, we have a few songs that are already recorded and mixed, so the process has started.
Lockdown has halted it a bit, but we are still hoping to be able to release an album towards the end of the year. We are working on our first album.
And then we will be doing as many shows as we can.
And then we will release more music in the future and so the journey goes.