Fortune favours the brave
After performing at Oppikoppi, South by Southwest (SXSW) in Texas, USA and Primavera Sound - it would be difficult to think of Fortune Shumba as anything but a high-flying, international superstar. We touched base with the South African performer ahead of his headlining slot at Brisbane Festival.
Fortune started the conversation about how locals aren’t so lekker. He says that people within his country look at him like a prop, adding more sauce to his struggle to get accepted into South Africa’s coveted music industry.
The openly queer performer, who is currently recording new material while simultaneously practicing business management at Umuzi, holds nothing back when he’s on stage. He does however admit that international crowds were the first to accept and embrace him before the society in which he grew up.
“One of my most memorable moments, was performing at SXSW. It was my first big performance, and I just remember how nervous I was before going up. I rocked that show; and afterwards I was showered with encouragement and praise.” One local went so far as to say “you’re going to change the world.”
Moments like these are what drive the expression behind his art. When a leap of faith is met by acceptance, it allows an artist to accept themselves - and in turn become even more themselves than they were before. And even if the world doesn’t accept us, by just being ourselves, we attract the right people into our circle.
According to Fortune, this moment of zen is where songs like ‘Trash’ come from. The unreleased track challenges the acceptance of toxic masculinity and urges victims not to tolerate this behaviour. They need to accept themselves for who they are and “leave those trashy assholes behind.”
And although many public figures, as well as the world are catching up to this conversation - Shumba’s particular take has landed him a spot at the Brisbane Festival and inspired one of the festival’s themes, “Trash Palace.”
Self-acceptance in any form is vital for art to breathe, and Fortune is one of the bright starts that has managed to embraced himself from the get go, and for that, we thank you.
You want more? We'll be dropping the full interview with Fortune in the next few days.
We've also got an exclusive behind the scenes video of Fortune rehearsing during lunch at Umuzi. Coming soon.