South African pop/hip hop artist Tamara Kumbula stops us in our tracks with her powerful single “Clockwise (Gold)”. After creating an impact across Los Angeles’ high energy music scene, Tamara Kumbula has grasped influences from alternative pop to hip hop all to intrigue a broader and more loyal fanbase. Not to mention landing a sync deal on Disney+, Tamara Kumbula’s music is definitely a sound that can resonate with anyone. Her recent single “Clockwise (Gold)” brings forward intoxicating and intense production underneath Tamara Kumbula’s clear-cut vocals. With an empowering message of seeing your inner worth when others waste your time, her single “Clockwise (Gold)” captures the power, like Beyoncé’s Lemonade power. Something you don’t want to play around with. “Clockwise (Gold)” opens with a deep pulsing synth and Tamara Kumbula’s relentless vocals, right off the bat she sets out her stimulating atmosphere of not putting up with poor treatment from others. Bringing forward lyrics and bars that motivate us to stop entertaining people who simply aren’t worth our time. Once the chorus comes around and Tamara Kumbula begins building the energy of the song, as the main downbeat drops she impressively adds in hints of dancehall-infused production and delivery. From pulsing brass instrumentals to hi-fi electroproduction and deeply filtered vocals giving us top-flight confidence and power, we’re definitely adding “Clockwise (Gold)” to our playlist. Be sure to listen to "Clockwise (Gold)" here.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Tamara Kumbula! We’d like to start off by saying how inspiring your message is on your single “Clockwise (Gold)”. Was made you want to release a song that lets listeners find the gold within themselves?
I think I usually write about experiences I’m going through/ have gone through and that was essentially what happened with clockwise. I wanted to write a song that motivated me to stay focused on my work and the positive things in my life instead of the negative. I think we can all relate to that on various levels and having people resonate with the message I was trying to spread is really motivating.
We’ve noticed that in your single “Clockwise (Gold)”, Tamara Kumbula also incorporates elements of dancehall giving the song exciting turns throughout. What made you want to take a more dynamic approach to the song's chorus?
Since the song has a very simple melody in the verses of the song, I wanted a big contrast in the chorus. Mainly because I’m a big fan of music with a wide dynamic range and upbeat music in general. I felt like having a lot of contrasting elements in the melody would keep the listener intrigued throughout and also, in a way, emulate the lyrics and my thought process when I was writing the song.
We’ve heard that your single “Clockwise (Gold)” is the last single before Tamara Kumbula’s upcoming four-part debut album “Gladiator”. How does “Clockwise (Gold)” tie in with the storyline/theme of “Gladiator”?
I think Clockwise has a lot to do with self-discovery and my personal experiences being a young artist in LA. All the songs in Gladiator are based on my experiences. Highs and lows regardless. But overall I think that Clockwise omits the main message I was trying to convey in the album and that regardless of what I’ve experienced, I should be grateful for the journey and for how much I’ve learned along the way.
We’ve heard through Tamara Kumbula and your dynamic sound that you’ve been influenced by artists across alt-pop and hip hop. Could you share some of your personal musical influences, and how they might have helped you define your sound?
A lot of artists have inspired me. I think the most predominant would be Beyonce, Anderson Peak, Big Sean, Post Malone. As artists, they all bring something unique to the table. Beyonce’s versatility, Anderson Paak’s musicality, Big Sean’s lyrical capability, and Post Malone’s vulnerability are a bunch of aspects that have influenced how I go about writing/ producing.
What can we expect to see from you throughout 2020? I was hoping to do a lot more shows but since the virus broke out, I’m definitely going to be doing more features and collabs with other artists once the album is out.