Tholwana Mohale burst onto the music scene after winning SA’s Got Talent show in 2014, when she was just 14 years old. Four years on, she’s releasing her debut album, titled 188.8.131.52.
Produced by Ross Jack and Alex Parker, the 10-track album was officially released on Friday, June 29. The 18-year-old singer and songwriter chatted to us about the long-awaited body of work.
Mohale said she named the album 184.108.40.206, as the year marked a very “significant” period in her life after her victory in the local talent show.
She added that a “high school love” story dominated her tracklist on the new album.
“The album’s name is 220.127.116.11, inspired by the year itself, as it was a very significant time in my life. It was the year that I started working in the studio at Sony, went into dramatic arts - at the National School of Arts - and, of course, experienced the high-school love that inspired many of the songs on the album. It helped me evolve a lot as a person.”
Mohale has since produced few singles, including Hollywood Guy and Playing on My Mind, which showcase her strong vocal talent and writing skills. In 2017, the singing sensation released her first EP, Warrior, buoyed by her lead single of the same name.
Warrior saw Mohale wearing her heart on the sleeve as she took fans through her emotional journey and some of the tough times that she endured as a teenager. She also dedicated the song to her family, who rallied behind her, supporting her through those difficult times.
The hit single received strong critical acclaim and saw Mohale feature as the Apple Music Artist Spotlight for 2017.
Mohale added that her new sound was inspired by her passion for pop music.
“I’ve always been a pop lover, so my sound definitely reflects that genre. The open and airy feel attributed to indie is also evident in the album.
“We wanted to express the emotion of the album in a very cool way, mostly allowing the lyrics to carry the weight thereof.”
The rising star added that she had few collaborations on the album, although she featured Malawian-born South African record producer, singer and songwriter Gemini Major and Nigerian and South African hip hop artist Ross Jack, who contributed in the production of 18.104.22.168.
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“I feature Gemini Major, Ice Prince, and Ross Jack feature on two of the tracks, but I do all the others solo. I wanted to be comfortable with my sound before adding too many artists.”
On who should buy this album and why, Mohale insisted: “Anyone who’s totally in love with love and everything it comes with! Music lovers will be triggered by the sound of the album.
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“The album touches on different aspects of my life, ranging from family to romantic relationships.
“They can expect to know exactly what my stages of loving are.”
Mohale, who graduated from National School of Arts in 2017, is currently studying psychology at Wits University.
The young star said that although music remained her passion and first love, she wanted to focus on her studies as well.
“I’m currently focusing on school, but I’m planning on doing a lot more collaborations with the many talented artists of South Africa.
She was born in a small town, Steinkopf, in the Northern Cape and moved to Johannesburg to pursue her studies. Now she is well on her way to stardom.
Mohale started singing in 2011, when her school offered guitar classes, and she immediately in love with the instrument.
* The album, which includes tracks such as Float, Drive and Complicate, is also available on ITunes, Apple Music, Google Play, Deezer, Joox, Simfy, Vodacom Music all major stores. Stream or Download 188.8.131.52. on: sonymusicafrica.lnk.to/Tholwana2015.
Follow Mohale’s journey on her social media pages @tholwanamohale.