Fri. Nov 27th, 2020

‘Maak My Famous’ winner Nicoleen Saal talks fans, fame and her fight for it

Fame, fans and the future: The South African talks to Season 2’s ‘Maak My Famous’ star Nicoleen Saal about her journey to success.

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“The love of my family and my family’s appreciation of music.”

These were the two primary influences Maak My Famous Season 2 winner Nicoleen Saal attributed to her vocal success and victory on the popular South African talent show.

The 21-year-old artist was speaking to The South African following her victory which has now thrust her into a potential-packed career in the local music industry.

Hailing from Ocean View south of Cape Town, Saal’s journey to fame was launched on actor, singer and entertainer Emo Adams’ show — an initiative established to flush out and grow emerging South African talent.

“Growing up in Ocean View, I was greatly influenced by my family’s love and appreciation for music,” revealed Saal.

Through this Saal said she practiced broadening her “deep, soulful and churchy” vocal abilities in the hopes of someday creating a name for herself in the South African music scene.

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A jubilant Nicoleen Saal after the announcement that she won the ‘Maak My Famous’ talent show. Image: Supplied

Saal’s ‘Maak My Famous’ journey

The vocalist said her journey had begun after her family had convinced her to see the competition as an opportunity to better herself — both as a vocalist and as a person.

“My biggest challenge was believing in myself and my capabilities as an artist. In every episode, my fellow contestants grew better and stronger so the chances of going home [being eliminated from the contest] were big,” commented Saal.

According to the singer, facing those challenges meant adapting to long hours, putting in hard work and paying careful attention to the decision making required to transform her into the performing artist she desired to be.

In June 2020, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maak My Famous talent and production team were compelled to take a month-long break.

Using this period to her advantage, Saal set about viewing and evaluating previous episodes of the show in which she featured in order to identify artistic aspects of her performances she could address before returning to the stage.

Nicoleen Saal: ‘My entire life has changed’

For Saal, winning the competition is “yet to sink in”, with the singer going on to reveal that she still feels  overwhelmed by the support she received and a sense of disbelief around the knowledge and experienced she gained through her participation in the show.

Her victory has presented Saal with the opportunity to tour with Emo Adams for a full year, while being managed by All Star Concerts.

“My entire life has changed, and I am astounded by how many people now know my name,” enthused Saal.

And an added bonus, according to the emerging star, was the opportunity she received to form the “talented friendships” she made with contestants and others during the course of the reality TV experience.

Words of wisdom for young competitive artists

When it comes to entering any kind of talent competition, Saal encouraged  upcoming artists to “trust the little inner voice” that feeds their positivity.

“The world is filled with hatred and darkness, so if entering a competition brings you light – go for it,” Saal recommended.

In addition, advised Saal, “When given any opportunity to compete, artists should forget about what they think they know and enter with a mindset that is open —  like a clean canvas”.

What’s next for Saal

Saal’s first major musical appearance following her win will be at the Maak My Famous Showcase. The event will include Season 2’s 10 finalists and will take place on 31 October 2020.

“For now, I am focusing on building my career and performing live for my fans, to give something back to them and to show my gratitude for their love and support,” said Saal.

Beyond her upcoming live performance, Saal is also focusing on wrapping up and releasing her debut single.

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