Khaya Mthethwa has been a very busy man in recent months. The singer and television presenter got married, became a senior pastor and just released a new song all while juggling his two TV shows and a radio gig.
“Life has definitely become a lot busier than I am used to, but it’s just about prioritising and having a strong team in place that you can depend on. A lot of the time I just show up and work, but there are people who do a lot behind the scenes, in my church life and professional one, too,” he said.
Mthethwa recently released a single under a new project called Khaya Mthethwa and Oasis, titled Mkhulumsebenzi. He said the collaboration was a long time coming. “Oasis is the name of the church my father started, the church I grew up in and now I’m the pastor.
"The people I sing with are a part of the worship team and this project is something I have always wanted to do, it was just about doing it at the right time. Now that I have taken over the church from my father, that time is now,” he said.
Mthethwa likened the new project to powerhouse gospel bands like Hillsong and the Planetshakers.
“Hillsong is a church and that’s how they started off, but now they are one of the biggest gospel bands with an incredible brand, the Planetshakers. This is what I want to do with Oasis, I want to raise a strong African church.”
Speaking about the new single, Mthethwa said that he wrote it last year while fasting. “This song is actually like an anthem at our church, because we sing it so often. The song is a declaration that God is doing a great thing in our lives. It is based on Philippians 1:6 which says: ‘He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ For us it’s really a celebration song,” said the singer.
Mthethwa shot to fame when he became the first black South African to win Idols SA back in 2012. Since then he has released a number of albums, won numerous awards, and hosted two gospel-related television shows, Rhythm & Gospel on BET and Gospel Avenue on SABC1.
However, with a career that has been as successful as his has, he said working with Oasis was humbling.
“It’s been very humbling, these young kids are extremely talented and love what they do. They are very faithful and know what they want and work towards it and that is important, especially when working with a group of 12 people… because it’s very easy to get distracted,” he said.
He did admit that their first day in studio was not the easiest.
“At first there were a lot of teething problems. For some of the band members it was their first time in studio, and that can be very intimidating, but because we all have the same goal, we were done with this single in a week,” Mthethwa said.
Mthethwa and Oasis are working on their first album together, which is expected to be released in May. He said: “It has been a collective effort, from the songwriting to production, we are all involved.
“This album will carry all of our DNA and it’s exciting, because we want to spread a message of hope and speak about the faithfulness of God. This album isn’t situational in its content, because God is bigger than any situation.”
He added that although he will be releasing music with Oasis for years to come, his dream is to have the band be so successful that they don’t need him any longer.