Stanley Sibande. Picture: Laham Photography
Stanley Sibande. Picture: Laham Photography

Stanley Sibande shares journey on 'Hopeless Dreams'

By Liam Karabo Joyce Time of article published Aug 28, 2021

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South African-based Zambian-born singer and songwriter Stanley Sibande released his debut album, Hopeless Dreams.

The release is a testament to all the challenges, triumphs and failures he has encountered during the last four years and how they’ve broken him down in some ways and helped him grow in others.

As such, “Hopeless Dreams” is a defining moment in the rising star’s career.

He began his journey as a musician in his formative years, singing along to popular music with his siblings in the living room of his childhood home as a pass time.

While taking a gap year in 2013, he joined a band and picked up a guitar.

It wasn’t long after that he started writing his own compositions, which were heavily influenced by the likes of Hozier, SYML, Bastille, Linkin Park and Cinematic Orchestra.

Sibande’s musical style is a combination of the melancholic soundscapes of indie and rock coupled with the simplistic yet catchy melodic compositions of modern alternative pop, serving as a backdrop for a narrative lyricism style that usually touches on the darker elements of the human condition and his journey through that landscape.

While Sibande has been working on the songs for the past four years, he went into the studio this year.

“I honestly had no idea as to what I wanted the end product to sound like when I got into the studio.

“Each song on this album is a snapshot of where I was mentally at that point, as opposed to being a piece of a larger puzzle of sorts.

“I think there is a slight overarching theme to the album, but that has more to do with where my mind usually is than me actually trying to execute said theme,” he said.

“Hopeless Dreams” is produced, recorded and mixed by Jon Shaban at Sit the Folk Down studio and mastered by Tim Lengfeld.

One of his biggest goals for this album was to sonically describe the world as he has seen and experienced it over the last couple of years to the best of his ability.

“This album is, in a lot of ways, a journal of all the various emotional journeys I’ve taken since I decided to start living life the way I wanted, as opposed to how certain people had it planned out for me back in 2017.

“A testament to all the challenges, triumphs, and failures I’ve encountered in the last four years and how they’ve broken me down in some ways and helped me grow in others.

“Needless to say, It’s been an absolutely wild ride, but the music kept me going,” he explained.

He added: “The thought of all this being a hopeless pipe dream that won’t take me anywhere is one that’s plagued me through the entire process of putting these songs together, recording them and now releasing them, and the unfortunate part of experiencing these thoughts is they most likely will never go away, regardless of whether I succeed or fail, so instead of letting it hold me down and stop me from trying, I’m owning it and putting it out there for the world to see.”

His favourite single on the album is “Wilaba Uku Pema (Don’t Forget to Breathe)”.

“It’s my favourite for a couple of reasons.

“Firstly, it’s the only song I’ve ever written that incorporates a language I grew up speaking called Bemba, and I struggled for years to write anything cohesive in that language before this song.

“Secondly, what it talks about is something that’s helped ground me and keep my head on when things get a bit too much, or when there’s way too much chaos going on around me”, Sibande shared.

“Hopeless Dreams” is available on digital platforms.

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