Bongeziwe Mabandla unpacks his new album ‘amaXesha’

Bongeziwe Mabandla. Picture: Supplied

Bongeziwe Mabandla. Picture: Supplied

Published May 10, 2023


Musician Bongeziwe Mabandla made his debut on “A Colors Show” in a gorgeous mustard ensemble, amplified by a striking blue background, and delivered a moving performance that drew stellar reviews.

On one of the world’s biggest music stages, Mabandla performed his upcoming single “sisahleleleni (i)”.

Mabandla is one of a handful of South African musicians to earn a performance on the coveted channel, with previous artists including Sho Madjozi, Sjava, Yugen Blakrok and ByLwansta.

“I have been wanting to do ‘Colors’ and I had done the home session during Covid,” Mabandla shared with IOL Entertainment.

“I had told my label Black Major that it was one thing I would like to do for my upcoming album and they got in touch with them, but it took some time and then they asked if I was available for a certain date.

“Then we arranged a call and they explained what the plan was and chose a colour for me and then I flew to Berlin and shot the performance. It was such a great feeling and just a wonderful day I will never forget.”

Adding to his jubilation, Mabandla released his fourth album “amaXesha”, meaning “The Times”.

“The title ‘amaXesha’ was taken from the idea that all our beautiful moments in life are these moments and times that happen and when you put them together they create the significant times that shape us.

“Sometimes we experience moments that feel ordinary and we are unaware these are the moments and times that will shape our lives and we will remember them as the times and days of our lives.”

Mabandla shared that he had an incredible time writing and recording the music for the album. One of the best parts was recording in Maputo and being in the studio with Tiago Correia-Paulo and Chris Born.

“Studio work is my favourite part of making music and I love seeing an idea come to life. I had an incredible time writing these songs and recording this music.”

Mabandla has become a leader of a black alternative sound from Africa and has built himself a reputation as one of the best. This can sometimes come with some pressure from fans and yourself as an artist.

“I do feel pressure. I have worked so hard over the last 10 years and I feel people have an expectation when it comes to my work. I would say I also have my standards for my work. It has to have a certain quality and an honesty to it.”

When it comes to his creative process, Mabandla strives to give his fans something he likes, in hopes they will also.

“I must say I think the people that listen to my music love the uniqueness of my music, so they are always happy when I’m true to myself,” he added.

“amaXesha” dropped on May 5.