Bongeziwe Mabandla is one the most exciting and innovative artists in South Africa today. He is an award-winning singer-songwriter and musician known for his unique style, fusing traditional Xhosa folk music with modern electronic production. Unafraid to experiment with his creativity, this blend of traditional and contemporary influences gives his music a unique and distinct sound that sets him apart from his peers.
On his new single “ukuthanda wena” (translation – loving you – full lyrics translation here), we find Mabandla exploring “heartache and the dark side of love”, delivering a universal message of what it feels like to feel spurned in love, through a dark atmospheric song that’s hard to shake. “Sometimes you can have the purest and most beautiful intentions for someone but they can be met in the most horrible way,” says the multi-award winning artist. “Sometimes being a hopeless romantic and love-obsessed person can end up making you look like a fool.” says Mabandla.
In creating the music for this searingly honest track, Mabandla and his collaborator, producer Tiago Correia-Paulo (Tumi and The Volume and 340ml) tapped into the darkness gestured at in the song’s lyrics resulting in a drum heavy pitched-down techno-esque production. “The emotional resonance of the production comes from the balancing act of layering instruments – like synths and various percussive elements – to achieve a build up, but never discarding its imminent release and return to simplicit,.” says Correia-Paulo.
“ukuthanda wena” follows the recently-released “noba bangathini“, both taken from Mabandla’s forthcoming new studio album “amaXesha” which will be released in April 2023.
Bongeziwe Mabandla will tour through South Africa in late April & May and has just announced a UK live show.