Agape Tadana: Musician & Activist Singing For Change
``I am all about preserving and building my community. I am the kind of artist that's using music to uplift and communicate good african experiences`` -Agape

S iyamcela Tadana , better known as Agape (his stage name), is a South African afro-soul/pop recording artist. He was born in August 22, 1991 in Queenstown, Eastern Cape and raised in the Western Cape side of Worcester.

Inspired by his family’s love for music, Agape made his first move towards becoming a musician  in early 2003 when he released  his first single “Fallen”  with his former rap crew Frolic Fam. Their artistic debut in  Cape Town’s competitive music scene was a success due to the single’s socially woke and smart lyrics. However, After years of being in the rap scene Agape quickly realized rap wasn’t communicating what he truly wanted to say with his art and felt like his music was not representing his true self. The musician decided to re-invent himself and has spent the past year planning a beautiful and heartfelt comeback. He is now currently weeks away from releasing two new singles.

AYA loves musicians like Agape, committed to being truthful to themselves and the world with their art and using their truth to ignite the change they deem necessary in the communities they belong to and the African continent at large.

What inspired you to become an artist? Do you have any artists that particularly influenced you? Did the environment you grew in contributed in any way to becoming an artist and influences the kind of art you produce?

I was inspired to become an artist by my family. Growing up in a house full of music lovers, listening to my parents music: songs from the local legends such as, Mam’Miriam Makeba, Mfaz’Omnyama, Dr Rebecca Malope, Mahlathini, Mahlathini and Mahottela Queens, and Mam’Busie Mhlongo.

Watching local television and listening to radio also contributed highly in my artistic calling. I remember growing up I would mimic my idols in front of the mirror.

What do you usually try to convey with your art?

Growing up in black neighborhood is not an easy thing for anyone, with so much challenges facing the masses – with music I always try to convey a positive message: music that always communicate the message of hope.


How are you mixing your artistic role with your activism role? I strongly believe that art is the best way to ignite change.

As an artist I am reflecting my society and community. I am mixing my artistic role by feeding the masses good music for the soul by telling authentic stories and engaging with my traditional sounds. As an artist I am using my influence to educate the crowd.

Can you tell us more about your role as an activist and your community work?

After matric, growing up in my hood with so much burden of escaping statistics I had to engage with community project so my childhood friend and I started a platform for upcoming talent (Vuvu Motion) and I joined community arts and culture centre doing drama for local schools.


What do you think the governments and leaders should do to better support artists in your communities?

I honestly think government and community leaders need to start appreciating upcoming artists and create more platforms for them to showcase their talent. South African government must really begin to take artists serious. It is sad  how limited platforms are for the raw talent on the ground level.

What is next for Agape? any future projects you are working on?

I am currently working on releasing new music and I’ve been in studio with some of well established artists and producers tryna put together some classics.

I am also highly committed in Gender Based Violence work around my community and South Africa at large. I am working in a range of projects focused on changing GBV and won’t rest till something is done in educating my peers about the issue.




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