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Review: Noma Khumalo - Joy
3.5Overall Score

Noma Khumalo stole our hearts when she won the latest season of Idols South Africa. She became the first female winner of Idols South Africa in seven seasons after beating out Thami Shobede in the show’s epic finale. Now, after releasing the hits ‘Want It To Feel Like It Did With You’ and the Sketchy Bongo-produced ‘Moving On’, Noma has dropped her debut album ‘Joy’.

Coming from a reality singing competition background, it’s clear that Noma has a fantastic vocal – and puts it on full display on the record. She shows off the many different layers of her vocal in the variety of sounds she explores on the record. Sonically, she blends R&B, pop and subtle elements of hip-hop in a beautiful way. Noma touches on the genres that she identifies with and does so in a way which will identify with fans of each of the genres.

The album sounds incredibly authentic and lyrically, each of the tracks mean a lot to Noma – despite only penning one track on the album. It’s something that really helps fans identify with an artist and I’m glad she gave this aspect of the record her full attention. The album does include three cover versions which indicates the fact that the album may have been a little too rushed (there are only ten tracks on the album). While Noma does a fantastic job making these songs her own, it’s almost too clear that these are simply album fillers and don’t add much value to the album or her artistry.

Despite this, the rest of ‘Joy’ is incredibly strong. Noma is something fresh and shows she means business with this record. I think she has so much to offer the South African music industry and that’s why shows like Idols South Africa are so great. Noma’s ‘Joy’ has something for everyone and is a fantastic debut record. If you were a fan of the star on the show, you’ll be impressed with this collection of work.

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