In New South African Music news, Hammersdale native Mthunzi has released his debut album, Selimathunzi. The 16 track project features collaborations with the likes of Ami Faku and Simmy.
With the success of De Mogul’s Ndiphelele, Sha Sha’s Tender Love and amongst a few fresh drops Sithelo’s Forever, 2020 is already shaping up to be the year of lush love songs.
And Mthunzi, who’s just premiered his debut album, is a refreshing addition to the landscape.
After the release of the singles ‘Vuka’ and ‘Insimbi X Sun-El Musician’ last year, which earned him a fast-growing following, the up and coming singer has debuted his first studio album.
Entitled ‘Selimathunzi‘, which translates to “sunset” in isiZulu, the 16 track offering finds Mthunzi lavishing mellow African and experimental sonics with tender vocals delivered in his native tongue.
The singer, who recently distilled his journey from KZN to Johannesburg in the quest for his musical dream on the ‘Massive Music’ TV show, says Africans must bring their authentic selves to the world stage.
“As Africans we must take pride in our heritage and we must present to the world our own style of music; singing in our own vernacular does just that,” says the new kid on the block. “I hope listeners will receive and appreciate my music without limitations.”
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A blend of Maskandi, House, Afro-pop and R&B, Selimathunzi features 16 tracks, which were penned by the artist with the support of a number of featured artists: Sun-El Musician, Simmy, Ami Faku, S-Tone, Sino Msolo and Claudio X Kenza.
Nine months in the making, the young singer says the album was inspired by music from around the world.
While Mthunzi describes each song as special, the one closest to his heart is Phondo Olukhulu, a song of appreciation dedicated to the El World Music family – he signed with El World Music in 2017.
He believes, however, that Ngibambe La, which boasts an exciting experimental sound, has great potential to be a hit.
The song, which became the first single from the album, is a mix of Pop and House. The song, says Mthunzi, is an expression of love. “Ngibambe La not only expresses love, but also states publicly that my girl is taken. With its slow tempo, it is an easy-listening song with a message that is very relatable,” he explains. “I am very grateful towards the El World Music team,” says Mthunzi, “as they assisted with the song selection and were instrumental in the arrangement of the songs on the album.”
According to the young singer, his biggest challenges over the course of compiling the album were operating at a faster than usual pace, and the pressure of working among acclaimed musicians.
The rising local star, who comes from Hammarsdale, a small town in KwaZulu-Natal, believes that music is a gift given to him by God. It was his mother who first discovered his gift and who encouraged him to develop it and share it with the world. “Music is my life. I have been perfecting my musical gift from a very young age, through playing various instruments and performing in my community. It has been a rollercoaster journey with many challenges, but I have persevered,” he says.
As he earns the respect of fellow artists and audiences across the country with his unique sound, Mthunzi happily shares his greatest life lesson – cast no judgement. “I was raised by my grandparents who instilled in me the value of showing respect to all, no matter who they are.”
This, along with his innate talent and work ethic, is set to propel the rising young star forward.
- Kwaphela U Ink
- Ngibambe la ft. Claudio X Kenza
- Selimathunzi ft. Simmy
- Umlilo ft. S-Tone
- Uyathandeka ft. Ami Faku
- Uhlale ekhona
- Insimbi X Sun-El Musician
- Zigi Zigi
- Phondo Olukhulu
- Sayitsheni ft. Sino Msolo