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When any artist releases an album, it is easy to find out where their head space was while it was being produced simply by reading the title.
You have your Unathi Msengana whose debut album was called My First Time for obvious reasons, while crooner Brian McKnight dished out Ten as his 10th studio album.
Although subtle, artists enjoy hinting at what to expect from an album just by the project’s title.
However, with that in mind, Betusile Mcinga’s Kuphelele may come off as slightly confusing. Kuphelele means “the end” or “it’s over” and in this context you can’t help but feel as if Mcinga is announcing his retirement or something along those lines.
The man has had his run, with his solo career beginning in 2008, and to date he holds three albums. So if he decides to throw in the towel that would be understandable.
“I am not retiring from music,” said Mcinga, defending his latest project. “I am just in a new place in my life and am happy to reflect and draw a close to what I used to go through,” he said.
Mcinga admitted that his previous record label, Gallo, gave him a tough time when it came to him recording his third album.
“I had to leave them and do everything on my own and that was not easy. The title of the album was based on the trouble that I was having with Gallo. I was saying ‘it’s over’ and those are the last words Jesus said on the cross before he died.
“So I am thanking God that I had to go through all that happened because I came out a better man,” he explained.
After walking away from the mainstream recording company, Mcinga’s main concern was how to fund his next project. But with gospel star Lusanda Mcinga being his mother, Betusile got some maternal help to take his next autonomous steps.
“She helped me with the funding only and I had to do the song arrangement alone. We worked together on the two previous albums, but not on this one,” he said.
The album has a youthful feel to it and that makes sense because it features Dumi Mkokstad and was produced by Mxolisi Mhlongo.
“It took us about a month to complete the album and now we are doing promotions in Cape Town. We are looking at shooting a video at the end of the month,” he said.
While in Cape Town, Mcinga said it was interesting to see that Kuphelele was doing well despite being very new.
“There is a huge music store here that has its own charts and they have Khupelele on No 1 and Zahara on No 2. That is a very interesting and reassuring piece of news,” he said.
• Khupelele is available at your local music store.