Mxolisi Mbethe

IN THE R&B genre, R Kelly and Babyface are the go-to people if you want a good song for your album.

Locally, Zonke is rumoured to be among the most talented young songwriters. In the gospel industry, thanks to hymns that are recycled many times, there is little creative songwriting taking place.

That’s partially why Mxolisi Mbethe is in business. He has been writing memorable songs for the past six years for some of our top gospel artists.

“I have done work for the likes of Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Sipho Makhabane and Dr Malibongwe, to name a few,” said Mbethe.

In several previous interviews done for Gospel Digest, Mbethe’s name has popped up as a contributor on various albums. When not writing for others, he writes for his own projects and to date he has released three albums, the latest being Yamkela Indumiso.

“The title of the album simply means ‘Glory be to God’. I was nominated at the Crown Gospel Awards last year and was chuffed that they liked my work and so I am giving thanks to God,” he explained.

But given that Mbethe did not win any award it is baffling why he was inspired to write about the experience.

“The mere fact that I got that far is the reason that I celebrate God’s blessings. I know I didn’t win anything, but that’s okay because not everyone who recorded an album was nominated so I am giving God my praise for finding me worthy enough to be among the nominees,” he said.

Being the master songwriter that he is, Mbethe has made use of his skills on his own album and brought in almost no help from outside.

“I wrote all the songs except for one that Dumi Mkokstad helped me with. We also thought it cool to throw in two hymns, just to spice it all up,” Mbethe said.

As for the content of the album, Mbethe promised that many people would be able to relate to the lyrics because they covered several topics.

“If you are sick then there is a song for you. If you need help with spiritual strength, then we have you covered, too. For those who are simply looking to praise God, then they, too, have come to the right place,” explained Mbethe.

To promote his album, Mbethe has travelled the country and beyond and received a lot of positive feedback from his fans.

“I have been to Cape Town and Durban in the past few weeks. We have also been to Swaziland and the fans are really showing us a lot of support. We are also planning on a few videos to complement the album,” Mbethe said.

• Yamkela Indumiso is in stores.