‘Photogenic’ was came to fruition after Asanda appeared on Britain’s Got Talent at the age of 11, when she came under criticism following her first televised BGT audition. Her cover of ‘Diamonds’ by Rihanna was praised by many including the star judging panel consisting of Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon & David Walliams…however some viewers criticised the performance for being too mature for someone who was so young, especially given the sexualised theme of the track. Despite the criticism, Asanda went on to capture the hearts of the nation with a series of show stopping performances on the hit ITV talent show. The young talent – who is now 18 years old – made it all the way to the live grand final attracting over 13 million TV viewers.
Speaking out on why the talent show inspired her the write ‘Photogenic’, Asanda said, “I had a lot of negative comments after my BGT performance, but I was just being real. At the time ‘Diamonds’ was one of my favourite songs, and Rihanna is an artist who I truly respect, so why wouldn’t I want to perform it on national TV? I totally understand why some people may have thought that I was pushed into singing that song by the TV company, but the negativity taught me that even if you do the right thing you’ll never be able to please everyone. ‘Photogenic’ is my way of saying “this is me, I don’t care what you think, I’m proud and I’m confident of who I am, I hope you like it, but if you don’t – that’s fine too.”
Citing British urban powerhouse Stormzy and female MC Steff London as inspiration, Asanda hopes that the her inspiring, self confidence fuelled lyrics in ‘Photogenic’ will become the soundtrack to the lives of young people at a time when the “be kind” message has never more relevant.
“We love to capture every moment of our life and look back through the memories in years to come. We all want to look good on the outside, but being photogenic is about inner beauty and confidence as well. In today’s world of social media, you have to be confident in yourself as there’s so much negativity and judgement online”, she says.
Later this year Asanda is planning to take her “be kind, be you” message into schools as part of a nationwide initiative raising awareness of cyberbullying and online safety.
‘Photogenic’ is out now on all major platforms…check it out below…