From the blog

From the blog

Newcomer Nathi’s Buyelekhaya album goes platinum

No Comments Interviews Nathi


When and how did you get into the music industry?

There was a competition in Maclear in the Eastern Cape hosted by the Elundini Municipality. I entered in 2011 with my sister Amanda and she ended up winning that year. The following year, I entered again and won.

From there I recorded my album, Buyelekhaya. Sipho Nyathela got hold of it and took it with him to Jo’burg where he made some of the people from Ghetto Ruff Records give it a listen.

They showed a great interest in me and were very keen to work with me. I came up to Jo’burg and the first song we did was Nomakanjani. That, in short, is how my professional career started.

READ MORE: SAMA-winning musician Nakhane Toure chats to us about his upcoming book, his new album and his musical journey

SA is in love with Nomvula. Tell me a bit about the song?

The song is about umntu olubambo lwakho (“a lover you aspire to have” or “your dream lover”). Nomvula is the girl I dream about it, the girl I imagine spending the rest of my life with. The reason her name is Nomvula is because in Xhosa culture, especially back in the day, if someone was born on a rainy day or night, they would have been named Nomvula or Zanomvula, which means “one that came with the rain”.

Rain symbolised intsikelelo [“blessings”] and if someone was born while it was raining, it meant that oCamagu [“ancestors”] were in agreement and that the child was going to be a blessing. That’s who “Nomvula” is to me.

Did you ever think that your music would become so popular among SA audiences?

I could never have predicted the amazing reception I’ve received. Even though I work to produce as high a quality as possible, I’m still very surprised at the overwhelmingly positive response I’ve received.

How has your life changed now that you’re a recognised figure?

Before, I was just a guy with a guitar who loved singing, and now people recognise my music and they recognise my face. I’ve found that I’m much more conscious of everything I do because I know that people are always watching.

Who are some of the artists that you would like to work with in the future? I would’ve loved to work with the late Victor Ntoni and I’d still like to work the likes of Bra Hugh Masekela, Caiphus Semenya and Ringo Madlingozi.

What are your plans for the future?

To continue making good music! I believe that that’s my purpose on earth, to make music that lifts people’s spirits.

A lot of people think the only type of music that’s capable of healing souls is gospel music and that’s not true. There is music that touches lives that’s not necessarily gospel – that’s the music I will continue to make.

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