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He has it all. The looks. The talent. The voice. The stage moves. And most importantly, Vusi Nova has that star quality.
Here is a brief history: he signed with EMI and then was the singer for Kwela Tebza (just before Khanyi started working there).
His first Afro-pop album did not do much. He then left EMI and joined Kalawa Jazmee who also did not quite know what to do with him. (They also didn’t quite know what to do with Zonke.) Through weird circumstances he found himself at Ghetto Ruff, the birth place of singing legend, Ishmael.
“I left a demo for Lance (Stehr) at Ghetto Ruff and he phoned me the same day. It was March 14. I remember the day because he remembers the day.”
Nova’s album Walk Into Light is about to be released. And, dear readers, you have to believe that John Legend has little on this singer. This is not one of those casual shoutouts. This man is that talented. He performed on SABC1’s Live Amp and trended on twitter. He performed at the national Sports Awards which were broadcast live and he trended.
With the release of his new album, Nova is about to be the country’s newest big star.
Luckily, I have spent a few nights in the studio with Nova listening to his music. Wow! His vocal range is phenomenal. His passion is phenomenal. Then there is his actual music.
“I’m in love with music,” he smiles. “My brother always says I have a sangoma vibe on stage because I go a bit mad. In the beginning I was so scared, but now I am so comfortable with myself. I believe I am doing my best.”
Damn straight, honey. This man has a beautifully, old-school way of dancing.
“Well, I grew up in New Brighton (Port Elizabeth) and there was only ballroom dancing which is what I learnt.
“I grew up with my grandmother and every Thursday the church choir would come and practice at our house. That is where my love of music comes from.”
This love is perhaps one of the best reasons to love South African music. Listening to the unmastered tracks at the Ghetto Ruff studio and watching him sing along to his music was an absolute privilege. This is because Nova will become one of the biggest artists this country has produced.
His vocal range is phenomenal. He understands the use of the voice more than most and that is before trying to suggest which track should be his next single.
Not since Shadowclub and Nakhane Toure’s debut album have I heard an artist with such worldwide star potential.
There is the duet with the adorable Moneoa which takes us back to the Fifties. There is another song with RJ Benjamin, yet another classic. Then he goes back to his first album’s theme – Afro-pop. Here he sings with the uber babe Ntando. Their voices are so similar and so powerful.
But it is when Nova is alone that he… wow! I have no words. He is that brilliant. South Africa has not produced a vocalist like Nova before. If he does not become world famous, we would have done ourselves a disservice.
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