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On The Spot Exclusive: "So Hot" - Princess Khanya's Musical Alchemy of Love and Oxytocin

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

Our 'ON THE SPOT ' interview series highlights individuals throughout the creative community for their contributions to art and culture. Putting these artists "on the spot" we created a space where creatives and innovators tap into the conversation to uplift and continue to inspire the creative community. Next up is… Princess Khanya

In the vast landscape of rising artists at the helm of nu-wav Afro-Pop, Princess Khanya stands as a captivating force, intertwining her African roots with a global musical upbringing. From her early Disney Channel inspiration to the impactful advice echoing from Michael Jackson, Khanya's journey unfolds in a melodic tale of commitment and self-discovery.

Khanya's artistic style, she reveals, is a fusion of her African roots and the Hip-Hop culture she absorbed through media. The influences of artists like Ari Lennox, Doja Cat, Kehlani, Victoria Monét, and Tori Kelly blend seamlessly, creating a musical concoction uniquely hers. The themes she passionately explores in her music mirror the chapters of her life – from idealized notions of love to the complexities of lifelong partnerships. Drawing inspiration from romantic relationships and familial bonds portrayed in Kehlani's "Altar," Khanya crafts a narrative that compels the intricacies of human connection.

"So Hot" unfolds as a sonic tapestry, expertly woven by Princess Khanya's soulful vocals and the production wizardry of F Deezus. Drawing from inspiration from the early 2000s, the track seamlessly blends R&B, pop, and Afro-beats, showcasing a masterful fusion of genres that transcends the limitations of traditional labels. The lyrics delve into the complexities of new love, unveiling the vulnerability accompanying the journey. Princess Khanya's musical prowess promises to redefine contemporary romance anthems and leave an indelible mark on the evolving landscape of global R&B.

Princess Khanya's music is a testament to her nomadic roots and diverse influences, ranging from Afro-beats to R&B. Her artistic style, a fusion of her African background and exposure to African-American Hip Hop culture, paints a vivid picture of her musical journey. The vibrant stage performances and music videos, rooted in her background in dance, add a dynamic layer to her storytelling. Themes of love, connection, and the intricate dance of relationships dominate her passion, reflecting her personal growth and experiences, as outlined in the artist bio and press release.

The production of "So Hot" stands as a testament to F Deezus's exceptional skills, seamlessly blending genres without losing the soulful essence of R&B. Princess Khanya's songwriting shines not just as a craft but as a conduit for her emotional depth and understanding of human experiences. The single not only showcases musical finesse but also establishes Princess Khanya as an artist with a keen understanding of storytelling through music, elevating her beyond the realm of mere entertainment to that of a narrative weaver.

In this installment of On The Spot interview Princess Khanya takes us on a journey from her childhood dreams kindled by Disney Channel, her creative process, spotlighting the genesis of her latest single, "So Hot," her influences, self-care practices, and the challenges of being an independent artist, all while articulating her vision of creating music that etches itself into the cherished memories of her audience.

Listen to "So Hot" Here:

Take us back. Do you recall the moment you told yourself, "I'm going to make this my career?", describe that moment. What made you pursue this career?

The moment I told myself music would be my career, I was 6 years old watching Disney Channel. I saw Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana, and she seemed so young in my eyes. When I saw that someone so young could be a singer, I also told myself I had to do that. At the time, I looked up to Destiny's Child and Britney Spears, but they seemed grown up, and I thought I couldn't be like them because I was little. It did not occur to me that I would grow up one day as well. I remember telling my mum and dad that I would sing and dance like the people I grew up watching on TV. I was so committed and believed in myself 100%. Not knowing how difficult that journey would be.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I like to pull inspiration from my African background. But I also acknowledge that I was brought up being exposed to a lot of African-American Hip Hop culture through the media. So musically, I don’t think I 100% sound like an Afro artist, but at the same time, I don’t think I 100% sound like a hip-hop artist. I would describe my artistic style as a fusion of the music and culture I have been exposed to throughout my life.

What are you most passionate about? What themes or concepts do you explore in your music?

I am most passionate about the journey of finding love and seeking connection. I was single my whole life until I met my now husband. So, much of what I used to write about came from an idealized version of what I thought relationships would look like. After being in my first long-term relationship, I am even more passionate about exploring the complexities of lifelong partnerships. I'm not only passionate about romantic relationships. I love Kehlani's song ‘Altar’ because she sings about remembering her ancestors. The songwriting beautifully depicts her strong connections with family members, even after they have passed.

Are there any specific artists or movements that have influenced your work?

The artists influencing my work are Ari Lennox, Doja Cat, Kehlani, Victoria Monet, and Tori Kelly. They are all so different, but I admire their style, creativity, work ethic, and journey. I followed some of them early on in their career, and during the SoundCloud and YouTube cover days, they inspired me to keep going.

If you had to title this chapter in your life, what would it be?

If I had to title this chapter of my life, it would be "Chapter 2." I feel like I'm still just beginning to pursue my dream.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

The last time I did something for the first time was right now. I have never been interviewed on a platform like this, and I am very excited and honored.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

The best piece of advice I have been given was not actually given to me directly. I heard in an interview that Michael Jackson had told some artists he was working within the early 2000s that their voice was "not a machine" but "flesh and blood." This really stuck with me because, at times, I feel like I overdo it with my voice or my body in general. And I forget that I am not a machine; I am flesh and blood and need to actually prioritize taking care of myself. As an independent artist, there's never enough time in the day, but I do try to slow down.

Has there ever been a time when you felt like giving up and starting a new path? What keeps you focused?

I have felt like giving up multiple times! Especially when I graduated with my master's degree. I thought I should maybe focus on the career I spent all that time studying for. Working a 9 to 5 full time and pursuing music has been challenging, and I feel like giving up a lot of times. But the vision I had for myself at 6 years old truly keeps me going. That vision always outweighs the doubt every time.

What has been the most exciting thing that has happened to you recently?

The most exciting thing that has happened to me recently would be getting married. I live in a very small city in Australia, so I genuinely lost all hope in the dating scene because everyone was already taken.

In your opinion, whom do you consider to be a visionary? What about them do you admire most?

In my opinion, Victoria Monét is a visionary! She is a star! Her lyrics always make me double-take because of the wordplay or subtle references. She can write a song about anything, and I'm here for it. Her penmanship!!

How do you show up for yourself? As in, what does self-care look like for you?

Self-care looks like going on walks by myself, no music or podcasts, nothing distracting me. Self-care is also me saying no when I feel like saying no and prioritizing my rest or peace.

The past years have been life-changing. What's something new you've learned or discovered about yourself in the past 3 years?

Something new I have learned about myself is that I don't have to always seek validation from those familiar to me. I have applied this in my work by not always expecting people around me to like my music or buy tickets to my show to validate me as an artist. Yes, as an artist, you, of course, want people to support you, but I feel like I was relying on others to believe in me more than I was believing in myself.

How have you applied that to your work? What was the inspiration for your new project? Can you tell us more about the meaning behind the music?

My new single, "So Hot," was inspired by that initial period when you meet someone and everything is super exciting. I'm a lowkey nerd, and we had to learn about the brain during my degree. I learned that when you're falling in love with someone, your brain releases the hormone "oxytocin." And one of the things oxytocin does is increase your body temperature. My single "So Hot" is about how hot you get when you start falling for someone.

Describe the creative process. When did you know you had the final cut?

I started writing "So Hot '' in the car after my producer, FDeeeZus, sent me the demo track. I had a long drive, so I kept freestyling until I found something I liked. I knew I had the final cut when I listened to the song in my car, and it took me back to that moment when I started feeling someone.

What do you feel has been your biggest growth as an artist?

My biggest growth as an artist is overcoming the thought that it can only happen for other people.

Following your dreams comes with many ups and downs. What would say is the hardest thing about following your dreams?

The hardest thing about following your dreams as an independent artist is being one person but expecting yourself to do the job of a full team.

In your opinion, what do you think is not fair about today's music industry?

I think it's not fair that so many people are missing out on great albums because they focus on the hit singles. I love to listen to an album and play it through because it feels like watching a movie.

How do you hope your artwork resonates with viewers or impacts the world?

I hope my music becomes tied to certain memories that become nostalgic for people, like how one song can take you back to a certain time or place in your life.

What's next for you artistically?

What’s next for me? I want to develop my songwriting skills further and be able to expand what I write about, like how Ari Lennox has a song about moving into an apartment - New Apartment. Victoria Monét has a song about getting fit in the gym - "Ass Like That," and also telling people to stop asking her for things - Stop(Askin' Me 4Shyt). I want to be that iconic.

Connect With Princess Khanya

Facebook: @pkthebaddest

Instagram: @pkthebaddest

Tik Tok: @pkthebaddest

YouTube: @pkthebaddest


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