South African ‘rebel’ singer, the award winning Thandiswa Mazwai aka “King Tha” is set to drop a new album this year and will likely surprise her fans when she takes centre stage at the Artscape theatre in Cape Town later this month.
In an exclusive interview with GQ, King Tha said she would be officially dropping the album later this year, will likely drop a single next month.
King Tha has also said that she could perform one of her new songs in her upcoming Cape Town show.
She added that she will definitely include music from her previous albums and sample some of the songs by her late icons’, Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela.
The Cape Town music extravaganza is dubbed, “a letter to Azania,” a music special by the award-winning musician and cultural figure.
It tracks a letter the singer is writing to “Azania” as a place of freedom and takes the audience on a sonic exploration of the utopian idea of Azania (South Africa), while expressing the melancholy that comes with a dream deferred.
She uses her music to create new worlds, and calls us all to awaken our imagination and remember the teachings of old as we forge a new world.
“The show is a celebration of our ancient history of Empire in Africa and a re-invocation of the utopian idea we called Azania when I was a child growing up in Apartheid South Africa,” said Mazwai.
“We imagined a kind of nirvana, a place with justice and love. A place with no violence. A place of great community. During the struggle years this utopia was our highest hope, but the past 30-years have proven that indeed freedom is a restless place,” added the singer.
King Tha has also told this publication that her much awaited album is called Sankofa, is a “Twi” word meaning to go back and fetch what has been left behind.
The award-winning afro-pop singer further said she has worked on the forthcoming album with one of her “favourite creatives”, Meshell Ndengeocello as well as Nduduzo Makhathini as her producers.
The legendary artist’ upcoming body of work was somehow due to nervousness as she felt she was losing herself.
“This album was a work of desperation. I was losing my mind and self and needed something to anchor me. Music is that thing for me. It is about the idea of returning to something or fetching something,” says Mazwai.
“Sonically what that means is that I have excavated some sounds from the International Library of African Music at Rhodes University as samples on some tracks, and I recently went to Senegal to record some drums, and Kora and Ngoni,” added the award-winning singer.
She also said the role of her favourite musicians, people such Bra Hugh, and Mam’ Miriam Makeba continues to shape her life and career.
“One of biggest life lessons for me was to listen to my elders and at the time my ear was filled with advice from Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Busi Mhlongo, Dorothy Masuku and so many other elders,” said Mazwai.
She adds that what they taught her has ”shaped my career and has contributed to my longevity. Last thing is to treat your voice with respect.
“Learn about it and do all you have been taught to preserve it. This is your biggest weapon, keep it sharp and always point it to the powers that be.”