Say you're a connoisseur of good vibrations and you're fussy about what you listen to - from lyrics submerged in tunes that make our daily affairs digestible and give off perspective through a delivery of mellifluous vocals, as percussion is gently ushered by a gentle groove of the organ. I'd ask: "Have you ever been swayed by music?" Well, Thandiswa Mazwai can give you a run for your money.
Award winning, politically-conscious songstress Thandiswa Mazwai has never ceased to take bold strides vocally. She has often left me in awe, and now with her debut record for Universal Music SA (after signing a record deal last year in November) an album called 'Belede' which is a tribute to her late mother. In a press conference at the 18th annual Jazz Festival, she described the album as a "space to keep her in." Belede, who is her late mother was a part of the rebellious and questioning times of South African music, so you get a feel of the DNA embedded in the album. "When I write music, I write what my mother would've wanted me to remember" Mazwai went on to say.
Performance At The 18TH Annual Jazz Festival
Track #1 'Jikijela' (which means throw), features pianist Ndunduzo, bassist Herbie Tsoali and drummer Ayayanda Sikade and the #FeesMustFall campaign protests clips that give perspective on a matter she so fluently sings, to praise world changers and history makers, swaying the listener to believe in the moment, with vocals that instil change with harmonies that sow themselves in the grounds of the instruments for purity to flourish. A perfect choice of a song to open the album with.
'Jikijela', which was originally sung by Letta Mbulu, is a standout on the album. The melancholy of the tunes sets it apart from the original -- I was swayed... Swayed specifically by the sound that is so relevant to our world today acknowledging a movement that promises longevity. Mazwai chose this song as her opening act at the 18th annual Jazz festival. The performance induced goosebumps, and the audience sang along, lyric-for-lyric.
Punk Is The Next Move For Thandiswa Mazwai
I'm still standing stunned by the magnitude of "Belede" album, but Thandiswa says she already has her thoughts on her next album where she promises to explore a genre that she's never done before: punk music. She explains how the genre allows you to speak on matters that are not repeated in other musical forms. (The foul language!) She will be collaborating with the BLK JKS. Where excitement and talent meet, hits are born, history is made and lives are touched by a movement.