Blaq Diamond shine brighter following Sama win for Ibhanoyi
Johannesburg - This week has been a cause for celebration for music duo Blaq Diamond.
Ndumiso “Ndu” Mdletshe and Sphelele “Danya” Dunywa received their SA Music Award (Sama) Song of the Year gong on Monday for their hit Ibhanoyi.
The duo grew up in Ladysmith having a fond love for music and joined forces in 2008 while in high school.
“We found that we were better together while taking part in a rap battle and in that moment we both shone and decided to form Blaq Diamond. People responded really well to what we were doing,” said Mdletshe.
The name Blaq Diamond is a metaphor for their lives coming from the dusty streets to become shining stars.
“There has never been something like us and we feel whatever we do is special. A diamond is precious and special and that is us.”
They describe their music as respectful.
“It’s music that grows people and inspires them to be better people.
“It is music that depicts the world we live in. Our music can be described as Afropop but you can’t put us in one category to be honest. Our music is called imbhube, which means lion. It is the music of the mountains because of the sounds that come from it.
“Our music has received so much love with our songs taking the number one spot often. It shows that people appreciate us and celebrate with us.
“It is surprising for us that the music has also crossed over to other cultures and people who don’t speak or understand Zulu. It shows that music is about feeling and not language driven. If you can listen to the music and feel it then you know where we are coming from,” said Dunywa.
The duo likes to freestyle off each other and that is what they did with their Sama-winning song, Ibhanoyi.
“We didn’t write down the lyrics for Ibhanoyi before we recorded it. We went straight to the mic and recorded what we were feeling at that time. There was no deeper formula, we were just enjoying ourselves and talking about ibhanoyi (a plane), something that wouldn’t normally be sung about and we changed it up to be about the appreciation of love.”
The duo has planned a few things for the remainder of this year.
“It’s always better to just do the work rather than explaining it before it actually comes out. This lockdown has helped us to regroup and see how we want to push forward. We opened a new label called Umuthi and we have an artist, Sbahle, signed under it. We released videos during this pandemic,” said Mdletshe.
It shows that people appreciate us and celebrate with us Sphelele ‘Danya’ Dunywa
MUSICIAN, BLAQ DIAMOND
It took a while before they celebrated their big win because they just could not believe it.
“When we won the Sama, we were shocked. We watched the first few days of it on TV and then lost track of it for a bit. On Friday we were getting calls from people congratulating us, we thought it was a prank. After going on social media to check, it sunk in that it was real. The feeling is amazing and inspiring us as fuel to say this is the time where we need to reinforce who we are and really go in harder than before,” said Dunywa.
Ultimately Blaq Diamond wants to inspire young upcoming artists to know that their dreams are possible.