South Africa: Peter Ngqibs – a queer South African artist making waves internationally

FREE ME from Peter's 2017 debut album, Let Me Go.

While it’s become evident that South Africa is still reluctant to provide equal and fair opportunities to its LGBT+ artists, the international landscape is not sleeping on this talent. 

Meet Peter Ngqibs (Peter Ncanywa) a South African queer singer-songwriter living in the US who is making waves in the United Kingdom and the States.

Peter has released his debut self-penned album, Let Me Go and was recently nominated for best music video at the 2018 New Jersey Film Festival Awards,  for his song, Free Me.

He says his music is inspired by both local and international artists, including the likes of Brenda Fassie, Lira, Caiphus Semenya, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.

Mambaonline had a Q&A session with the rising star to learn more about him, what his music is all about and the importance of young people from the LGBT+ community growing up in conducive and safe environments.

Who is Peter Ngqibs?

I was born and raised in Pretoria, and I consider that my home city. I moved to the States because I started working for a cultural exchange program. I tried applying to different universities to study music because that is something I was passionate about. This was also the reason why I left South Africa – because my dad didn’t want me to study music. I somehow managed to pull that off because I graduated with a degree in Music and Psychology in 2014. I have since been working as a music director for a Presbyterian Church in New Jersey.

Tell us how how your album Let Me Go came about?

It sort of has been a work in progress for a while now. Some of the songs on the album were songs that I wrote over 10 years ago. I was trying to make relatable music and I think at that time, those songs were a bit too mature for me. I hadn’t fully grown into them, and I had to look at myself and say, “okay, this is how I’ve changed and developed” and adjust my music to those [two aspects]. Read more via Mamba