A song by Pilani Bubu, Lyrics by Maya Angelou
Still I RiseMaya Angelou, Pilani Bubu
00:00 / 04:21

23 years ago, when I was 13 years old, I put a melody & song behind Maya Angelou’s poem: ‘Still I Rise’. It lived intimately with me at significant moments over time, making moves on my heart. Inclusive of a time in 2014 when I had planned to share this before she transitioned. But alas, It was not time! In the last 7 days - today being June 16, 2020, it pressed upon my spirit, a sense of urgency that moved me like goosebumps, a quickening of heart as the meaning of this poem captures the times - past and present. I wanted to express all that I had been feeling, as the call begs for us to stand! Stand against racism, against femicide, against police brutality, against gender-based violence our dignity and more! I take heed and with this rendition of ‘Still I Rise’ - I take a stand. With a little history lesson for today's youth: #alutacontinua change is progressive!


Lyrics by Maya Angelou (copyright at Penguin Random House Inc Publishers), Music by Pilani Bubu (at Bupila Publishing (Pty) Ltd), Performed by Sean at Supersonic (Kenya) on the keyboard, Pilani Bubu on voices, Mix and Mastered by Robin Fernie at Scherzo Productions


South African Singer-Songwriter, TV Presenter & Creative Entrepreneur; Pilani Bubu is a self-funded, self-managed, Independent Artist in the genre of contemporary folk music. Pilani Bubu is a unique voice with a cohesive global sound and style fused with soul, jazz, and funk. Her voice is old souled yet her music is so catchy. A storyteller at heart and an intentional performer. 


“She shines through with a poignant set of songs with pure grit and talent…a feel-good singer with conscious and meaningful lyrics” said The Daily Graphic (GH).

Every song has a story. Pilani shares her passion for music and travel, in her collaborations with local artists, and songwriting through the journey of her travels with music. 


With a voice that seemed to soar like a bird in flight, Bubu enriched her repertoire with influences… from all around the world form places she’s travelled,…she joyously filled the air with compositions rich in soul, folk, blues and funk…Bubu delighted the crowd with lucid tunes, catchy rhythms and a distinctive sound “ - John Owoo , Arts Ghana. Org


She has three album releases to her name; ’Journey of a Heart' (2012), ’Warrior of Light' (2016), and Folklore - Chapter 1 (2019). Three radio singles from each: 'Miss Understood’ playlist on 45 radio stations in South Africa, 'Sweet Love’ - 50 Radio Stations in 2017 and 'Boom Che - 46 Radio stations in 2018. 


She has graced the stages of festivals and music venues across the world, Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya, United States, France, United Kingdom, Romania and her more recent highlights at the Live In Accra Jazz Festival (Ghana), Jazz on The Roof Top (Romania), and Ploiesti Jazz Festival (Romania).


“An act that enthralled audiences with her soothing melodies, exceptional vocals, and message-laden repertoire was singer-songwriter Pilani Bubu from South Africa” - Kouame Koulibaly, Daily Graphic Newspaper (Ghana)


Pilani Bubu quit her corporate job in 2011 to pursue her music and design career, and in the last 8 years as an emerging artist, she’s performed her music both locally and globally.


In her debut years to date she has graced the stages of various festivals in South Africa: the Drum Beat Festival, Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Fete De La Musique, Appetite Festival, and Stellenbosch Wine Festival. 


Pilani has also showcased her work on various Radio and TV Shows like Expresso (SABC 3), Thursday Nite Live with Robert Marawa (SuperSport), Shift TV (SABC 2), Sisterhood (ETV), Yo-TV, Moja Love TV, Afro Cafe (SABC 2), Out And About (1 Gospel), Bellas (Mozambique),

Newsic Room (A24 Media Kenya), Hectic Nine 9 (SABC 2), NewzRoom Africa (DStv) to name a few. 


The album series: Folklore uses the technology of music as a medium and a platform to capture and preserve our culture. These are shared traditions and cultures amongst a people that’s been passed down through generations by word of mouth in sayings, tales, dances,

spoken word and more. 


 “Pilani is reviving, refreshing and representing our folklore full of wisdom and unique melodies to the new generation.”  - Wanlov The Kubolor (Ghana)


Generations of African history is undocumented or destroyed, the preservation of our culture and beliefs is an important asset, as we define and redefine our own identity. Through the technology of music and art, we find ways to capture what is left of our folklore and re-imagine the Africa we want to be. …


 “In this project I want to celebrate and treasure traditional folk music in my own way. Giving it a more contemporary setting. Giving it new meaning. Giving it more context.” 

 - says Pilani Bubu


As a TV presenter,  TV shows include: 'Out And About' on One Gospel channel on DStv channel 331 and currently: 'Design For You' on The Home Channel, DStv channel 176; now in Season 8, aired on TV and VOD in 10 African Countries, Africa TV Channel, in East and Western Europe - Slovenia TV, the Nations Carrier South African Airways as well as Amazon Prime globally.


Pilani Bubu has done credible creative work in the South African Marketing & Creative Industries for the last 10 years, with a degree in BComm: Law, Marketing & Business Management from the University Of Pretoria (SA), A certificate in Interior Decorating (Inscape Design College), A certificate in Musical Theatre ( New York Film Academy) and a certificate in Marketing Research Principles from Georgia University (US).





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