JOHANNESBURG — South African rapper Nadia Nakai’s heartbreak after she and Major League DJ Bandile Mbere split helped fuel the emotions that power her debut album, Nadia Naked.
The much-anticipated album from Nadia dropped on Friday morning, after close friends, family, partners and the media were invited to a swanky album launch in Johannesburg on Thursday night.
While performing some of the songs from the album, Nadia revealed that her break-up with Bandile several months ago left her in a space that made for beautiful music.
Bandile confirmed their romance to TshisaLIVE early last year. At the time, he said Nadia brought out the best in him.
“We were just so close from always working together. She is just such an amazing person to be around. She is down-to-earth. She brings out the best in me,” Bandile said.
The couple made every effort to keep their romance private, so many were surprised to hear that they had broken up.
On a track with Tshego, entitled More Drugs, Nadia speaks about love and missing someone, comparing it to an addict craving drugs.
Speaking at the event, Nadia said it was a difficult time in her life, which she wanted to put into the music.
“Obviously I am not a drug addict, but it’s going through heartache that makes you want to take something to numb the pain, because it is not subsiding or going away,” Nadia said.
She reassured fans that she was “doing fine, fantastic, thriving and happy” and said she did not feel that way anymore.
Breaking down another one of her songs, Nadia said that dating someone in the industry was difficult when people only saw you as someone’s girlfriend or partner.
“That was where I felt I was in, that space, the box I had put myself into. I put myself in that box and felt like I needed to break free of it,” she said.
The album garnered rave reviews from celebs and fans alike, and Nadia said she couldn’t be happier to release the project after more than two years of work.
“The pain and the sleepless hours and argument over when to release it were stuff that I had not gone through before,” she said.
“I realised that before this, I had not actually gone through the process of making an album properly. I needed to go through that and give it my everything, and now it is my masterpiece. I can say confidently that it is a masterpiece.”