Music icon Vusi Mahlasela dropped his latest album, “Umoya” (Embracing The Human Spirit), on Friday, September 22.
The album, which carries a cultural and traditional elements, addresses personal and social issues, including poverty, unemployment, and inequality.
Mahlasela emphasised that “Umoya” is a deeply thoughtful and spiritually driven musical project that aims to not only entertain but also inspire and heal.
“You who are chosen to deliver the healing message through music,” offered Mahlasela.
“Teach an understanding of the power of the soul that aligns us to destiny and begin to heal collective illnesses and balance the harmony of new beginnings.”
Produced by Joe Arthur, a two-time Grammy-nominated producer, “Umoya” calls for a return to spiritual values and emphasises the importance of divine wisdom in navigating the challenges of the modern world.
“’Umoya’ aims to address and rectify the things that have gone wrong in society. It carries a strong message of hope and transformation.”
In this album, Mahlasela also encourages the need to prioritise spirituality and the wisdom of God in a rapidly changing world.
“The album attempts to highlight that nothing can substitute the wisdom of God. Whatever the artificial intelligence that is going on out there, things are going so wrong, so let’s save the future and let God be God.”
Mahlasela views his album as a powerful tool for unlocking deeper meanings and bringing healing to those who listen to it.
“I think this album, in a way, is a key to unlocking certain meanings and bringing healing and that, for me, is the purpose of ‘Umoya’.”
Initially conceived as a solo album, Mahlasela said the creative process took on a life of its own, with the songs evolving and developing into their own unique forms.
He suggests that his ancestors played a role in guiding the creation of certain songs on the album.
“Putting this album together was really a great creative process of learning, but also very emotional and spiritual.
“The spirit was directing me in what I have to say in this album.”
The 10-track album embraces the human spirit and promotes broader social cohesion.
It incorporates various languages, including Swahili, English, Venda and Pedi, and features Ian Herman, Mongezi Ntaka and Habib Koité from Mali.
Mahlasela will be taking his new music to audiences across Mzansi through live performances.
Some confirmed events include WOMAD (“World of Music, Arts & Dance”) at the Market Theatre on October 1, the Vusi Mahlasela Tribute Concert at Moretele Park on October 7 and the Tembisa Jazz Festival on October 28.
“Umoya” is available on all digital platforms.