Langa Mavuso
Picture: Supplied
Langa Mavuso Picture: Supplied

Langa Mavuso talks about his music and what Youth Day means to him

By Alyssia Birjalal Time of article published Jun 16, 2020

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Since the release of his album "Liminal Sketches", Langa Mavuso has emerged from under the wing of Black Coffee’s Soulistic label as a star in his own right.  

Going on to release "Home", "Sunday Blues" and "Mvula", Langa has broken new ground for South Africa’s musical masculinities. 

Presently he is in the limelight as Deezer’s Next Artist of 2020 and is set to complete the year recounting the forces that propelled him skyward from the very first note. Brimming with love, power, purpose and pain, Langa is set to release a seminal debut album soon. 

He chatted to us about his music and what Youth Day means to him. 

When did your musical journey begin? 

I began singing professionally at 17 as a session musician for Spoek Mathambo. I went to study music further and during those years in varsity I began doing corporate gigs and performances with a band called "Soul Sessions" led by Ludwe Danxa. 

It was then that I decided I wanted to explore a solo music career. I wrote my own music and began recording it and eventually it caught the attention of Black Coffee who gave me my first break.

What are the challenges that face young musicians today?  

I'd say to have success very early in your journey. We live in a world of instant gratification and that has bred a generation of impatient people. People expect a glamorous and financially secure life very early on in their career. 

The pressures of that can affect your mental health, self-esteem and ideas of self-worth. 

I think that we need to build an industry that supports young talent by developing them before thrusting them into the high pressure, quick results space we find ourselves in now.

Any advice for young artists?  

Refine your craft, find your sound, work hard and the rest will follow. It sounds simple but that journey is long but fulfilling. 

Who inspires you? 

Bab' Caiphus Semenya and Mam' Letta Mbulu. The quality of their work and the staying power it's had is something to revel at, they have had a career that we should all envy.

The industry is tough, how do you stay grounded and focused?

I have a really strong core of friends who support and carry through a lot. 

My family has been an amazing source of love and support too. I think when you keep your life simple and uncomplicated, you're able to see through the BS quickly because there isn't much distraction to begin with.

Your biggest achievement thus far?

Being able to wake up and do what I love every day. It's a privilege and blessing I'm grateful for every day.

What does Youth Day mean for you? 

The day for me commemorates a sad moment in our history when the youth in this country took a stand for what they believed. This reminds me how much was sacrificed in order for me to be here and to live out my own dreams. 

The rights and privileges I enjoy today were fought for with blood, sweat and tears and that should never be taken for granted.

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