Platinum-selling South African singer/model/actress Lira has already conquered South Africa & much of Europe with her irresistible blend of R&B, Jazz, & African styles. Like Sade before her, she is now set to conquer America, having just released ‘Rise Again‘, her US debut. The album’s first single, “Feel Good,” is a slinky, jazzy re-mix of one of her major South African hits, a perfect showcase for Lira’s soulful, melodious singing style. That unique style led Essence Magazine to name her as one of “Five Unique Artists To Change Music In 2012”.
“Lira has all the ingredients to be a star in the U.S.,” says Shanachie general manager Randall Grass. “She has a unique sound, a wonderful voice, model-quality looks, & is already a popular artist, not only in Africa but in much of Europe as well, with a wide-ranging appeal to Jazz, R&B, World music, & Pop audiences.”
‘Rise Again‘ is the perfect introduction to the full-spectrum of Lira’s artistry. Songs such as “With My Eyes” & “Typical” highlight her sultry vocal tone on songs that deal with the subtleties of romantic relationships. “Rise Again”, “Feel Good”, & “Believer” are all upbeat, inspirational, feel good anthems that exemplify Lira’s ability to touch people of all different backgrounds. She incorporates reggae into “Valley Of Darkness” & “Call Me”, a natural move since reggae continues to be a vibrant presence on the contemporary African music scene. “Ixesha”, “Hamba”, & “Phakade” are all African-language songs that bring South African musical textures to the fore.
Lira was born in Ekurhuleni, East of Johannesburg, South Africa. Having grown up listening to Stevie Wonder, Miriam Makeba, Aretha Franklin, & Nina Simone, she began writing songs & performing at age 16. In 2000, she was discovered by the musician producer Arthur Mafokate, who signed her to his label, releasing her debut album ‘All My Love‘ in 2003. The title track surpassed Beyonce’s “Dangerously In Love” on a chart-topping run. She was then signed to Sony Music in South Africa & saw her debut Sony album win awards at the South African Music Awards (SAMA), the South African equivalent of the Grammy awards. In summer of 2010, she joined such artists as Alicia Keys, Shakira, K’Naan, & John Legend as featured performer in the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert. That year, she also made her cinematic debut as the support lead in the Italian feature film Consul. The Star newspaper in South Africa declared her the foremost Adult Contemporary solo artist in South Africa. The release of her high-end concert DVD, “Live In Concert: A Celebration“, was certified Triple-Platinum & knocked Celine Dion’s “Live In Las Vegas” out of the #1 spot on the video sales chart. Her first two Sony albums were likewise certified Platinum. Lira has appeared on the cover of more than twenty magazines around the world & has the largest Facebook following of any South African musician with over 400,000 fans. She also received a BET Awards nomination as “Best International Artist” in 2012. With the release of ‘Rise Again‘, American audiences will at last experience the magic Lira has brought to audiences in Europe & Africa.
All of the songs on ‘Rise Again‘ are written or co-written by Lira, except the deeply moving “Something Inside So Strong”, written by Labi Siffre. Lira performed the song for Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday celebration. Having just announced a nationwide US Summer tour, Lira is clearly poised for a major stateside breakthrough.