Singer Mthunzi. Picture: Richard Ndlovu
Singer Mthunzi. Picture: Richard Ndlovu

Mthunzi gives us the lowdown on his debut album

By Liam Karabo Joyce Time of article published Feb 22, 2020

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New kid on the block Mthunzi just released his debut album, "Selimathunzi". 

We caught up with the rising star to talk about his music. 

The self-taught pianist and guitarist from KwaZulu Natal, has melded a hybrid of styles which marry the best of Maskandi, House, Afro-Pop and RnB. 

On his 16-track debut album "Selimathunzi", Mthunzi  collaborates with some of Mzansi’s finest including Sun-El Musician, S-Tone, Ami Faku, Simmy, Sino Msolo and Claudio X Kenza.

When were you introduced to music and how did that happen?
My mother introduced me to music. I believe she heard me singing several times trying to imitate popular songs and sang them exactly as they were from back then, she then discovered my talent like that. 

You are a self-taught pianist and guitarist, how did you teach yourself how to use these instruments?
I used to love musical instruments and I don't know where it came from, it happened to be a part of me somehow. I had my first midi keyboard which was given by one of my friends around 2015/2016 then I started watching YouTube videos on how to use it and from there I became better and still trying to be more comfortable with both instruments. 

Let's talk about your debut album, when did you start working on it and how did the idea for it come about?
I and Claudio actually tried coming up with a new sound, it was quite a challenge but then we fused two personalities into one, SunEl listened to what we made and shaped it to what everybody hears now. 

How long did it take to put together?
I can say it was full 6 months.

How would you describe the lyrical content of the album?
Well I have a few songs talking about love in different ways, this album’s lyrical content is based on everybody's experience when it comes to love. 

Is there a particular theme or message?
Not really but I sang all songs in isiZulu, but to mention genres i’ll say, Maskandi, pop, hip hop, kwaito, RnB, house, Indian music etc. almost every genre that exists. 

Who have been some of your musical influences?
Jabu Khanyile, Bhekumuzi Luthuli, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Ringo Madlingozi, Afrotraction and Chris Brown

Why did you name the album Selimathunzi?
I am Mthunzi, and the name 'selimathunzi' has a similar meaning as my name but in different times and forms, selimathunzi means sunset, and Mthunzi means shade or shadow. 

Which track means the most to you and why?
Phondo Olukhulu, because it talks about how grateful I am for everything that is happening in my life.

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