Idols star Siphelele "Fuze" Ngcobo is set to release his debut album this year Picture: Princy Mthombeni

Former Idols contestant, Siphelele “Fuze” Ngcobo, is about a release his debut album, almost three years after making it to the top three round of the popular singing competition. The album is hot off the success of a single he released last year.

“After the good reception Nandi received last year, I was really encouraged to put an album together. Putting a single out first was me testing the waters because although I was on Idols and made it to the top 3, I did not win, so I was not sure how people would respond to my music or if they would even remember me,” Ngcobo said.

The Durban born singer said that when his single was a success, he got back into the studio and started working on his album, which he named Impumelelo. “I am an Afro pop artist, and although I would love to dabble in other genres later in my career, right now I am going to focus on being a great Afro pop artist and that is what my album is going to be,” he said.

On the sound of his album, he said that it will mostly be about love. “I wanted this to be a love album, but of course there are other songs, like following your dreams and dealing with life's hurdles. I want everyone to relate to this album which is why I wanted to have a little bit of everything”.

Although Ngcobo never went on to win Idols, he does credit the show as being the spring that helped him jumpstart his career. “Idols definitely helped me develop my singing, especially within Afro pop. The show and the people who work on the show all helped me,” he said.

Ngcobo is also an independent artist, putting his album together with his own money. “Look being an independent star is not easy, it's a hustle everyday but I would not change that. Many record labels have approached me with great deals but for me, making music is my business, and I want to own it and be apart of every aspect of it.”

Being involved in every aspect of the process means he gets to communicate his creative direction to the producers. “I think the producers are a little tired of me because I am always in the studio making sure that everything is perfect, I know what I want,” he said.

The rising star said that so far, one of his biggest highlights, was singing with Grammy award winning American singer, Regina Belle. Ngcobo sang with Belle at her South African concert after she saw a video of him singing and personally requested that he perform with her. “I can not begin to explain how humbling that experience was for me. You would expect a star as big as her to sing with an established South African artist, but she wanted me. She was so warm and welcoming from the moment I met her, it really was a huge moment for me,” he said.

Ngcobo hopes to release his album in September.