Mbuso Khoza on The World Show with Nicky B

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Mbuso Khoza is a songwriter and a vocalist; born Eshowe in Kwa-Zulu Natal. He is a prominent vocalist known to have worked with most cited names in the South African music scene.

this talented singer has fused a mixture of jazz, maskandi and Afro-pop, on his debut album called ‘ Zilindile’ – a Zulu term meaning ‘The nations have been waiting’ .

Mbuso has worked as a backing vocalist for some of most sought after musicians, such as Thandiswa Mazwai, Siphokazi, Sibongile Khumalo, Themba Mkhize and many more. The album is, in KG Moeketsi’s words ‘beautiful, authentic, believable, clean, full, rich, mesmerising and unashamedly Afrikan’.

Khoza says the 12-track LP is a reflection of his upbringing in Eshowe in northern KwaZulu-Natal, and the travels that have taken him to the African continent, to the West, and back to Southern Africa.

He told Sowetan: “I would loosely call my sound world music, which is of course influenced by my history as a Zulu growing up in Eshowe, but also defined by my experience as a backing vocalist and music buyer.

“I have backed quite a number of artists in the country, mainly those pursuing the jazz genre such as Thandiswa Mazwai, Siphokazi and Themba Mkhize.”

The vocalist says he has fused the West African music styles of Oumou Sangare and Salif Keita with some Zulu melodies and lyrics that deal with contemporary issues.

“The magic is in the language on this album, which sounds very different from typically hardcore Zulu melodies and rhythms. I wanted this album to define my life and the music that I have come across in my life, beginning in Eshowe, listening to traditional Zulu hymns, through to Afro-jazz,” he told the paper.

“It does not make sense to sing music with a Western American flavour. We need to study our history and approach music from an understanding and grounding based on the knowledge of where we come from” – Mbuso Khoza

 

WORLD music vocalist Mbuso Khoza’s sound is a complex fusion of jazz, maskandi and Afro-pop, creating a sound that has wide appeal.

Mbuso Khoza’s CD charts his musical journey  – “This is a reflection of my upbringing in Eshowe in northern KwaZulu-Natal, and my world travels that have taken me to the African continent, to the West and back to Southern Africa.

“I would loosely call my sound world music, which is of course influenced by my history as a Zulu growing up in Eshowe, but also defined by my experience as a backing vocalist and music buyer,” Khoza says.

“I have backed quite a number of artists in the country, mainly those pursuing the jazz genre such as Thandiswa Mazwai, Siphokazi and Themba Mkhize.”

The widely travelled vocalist says he has listened extensively to West African material, such as the music of Omar Sankare and Salif Keita of Mali. It is these influences that he has cleverly fused with Zulu melodies and lyrics, dealing with contemporary issues delivered beautifully in Zulu, that define the texture of his debut album, Zilindile. It has 12 tracks.

“The magic is in the language on this album, which sounds very different from typically hardcore Zulu melodies and rhythms. It is also not Western as the lyrics are in Zulu. I wanted this album to define my life and the music that I have come across in my life, beginning in Eshowe, listening to traditional Zulu hymns, through to Afro-jazz.

“It does not make sense to sing music with a Western American flavour. We need to study our history and approach music from an understanding and grounding based on the knowledge of where we come from,” he says.

Khoza’s musical genesis started in Eshowe, where he first sung Zulu melodies. His work has developed into complex arrangements that borrow from other sources that have developed his musical vocabulary into the complex sound that is Zilindile.

“In 1999 I decided to leave home for Johannesburg. I knew nobody, and as a result headed to the Bassline, which I had heard was a meeting place for musicians.

” I had no place to sleep, and for months was sleeping under the M1 South bridge, where there were some shacks. I was practically homeless. But then I went to every studio in Johannesburg to sing for other recording artists for free. That is how I met other musicians, including Themba Mkhize. I sung in his studio and Mkhize was impressed.

“‘You have no idea of what you have,” Mkhize said after listening to my voice. He then encouraged me to listen to other music. For every CD that he bought for himself, he also bought me one to listen to. I ended up collaborating with him on one of his albums,” Khoza said.

Zilindile is produced by Nduduzo Makhathini and released by Mavovo Music in association with KZN Music House. Mavovo Music is owned by Mkhize, while the man at the helm of KZN Music House is Mbongeni Ngema.

08 Mar 2012  – Edward Tsumele – http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/entertainment/2012/03/08/eshowe-to-the-world

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