New songs speak out on na­tion in trauma

Msaki to de­liver lat­est songs with other stars at Arts Theatre

Daily Dispatch - - News - By POLISWA SEJOSING

FROM re­ceiv­ing her first nod at the South African Mu­sic Awards to tak­ing to big stages around the con­ti­nent, East Lon­don singer Msaki is de­ter­mined to grow her brand at her own pace. The Imfama Ziyabona hit­maker has for the past few months been liv­ing be­tween East Lon­don and Jo­han­nes­burg while she grows her brand. This week­end, she is putting to­gether a live mu­sic show at the Arts Theatre in Ar­ca­dia, which will see Samthing Soweto and Vinny Mak per­form­ing. Speak­ing with the Daily Dis­patch this week, Msaki said she was busy work­ing on a new project, ti­tled Plat­inumb Heart, which she first tested out at the Na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val this year. “The plan now is play it and get to know the work to out loud in front of peo­ple. I want to prac­tise per­form­ing it and watch it change,” she said, adding that she was not in a hurry to record it. “I want it to ma­ture first. Also, I can’t record it yet be­cause it is still writ­ing it­self. “I am still writ­ing, adding ideas and com­ing up with songs around the same theme. The coun­try is giv­ing me new songs,” she said. Un­like her first al­bum, Msaki said Plat­inumb Heart was an “out­side-look­ing-in” al­bum. “Zanel­iza was an [in­side-] look­ing-out al­bum, it was very con­tem­plated, med­i­tated and per­sonal.” She said on Zanel­iza she was deal­ing with per­sonal is­sues in a po­etic man­ner. In the new al­bum she is a “lit­tle bit an­grier and songs are a bit more di­rect”, she said. Msaki said the al­bum was driven by the coun­try’s cur­rent state, from women abuse to the lack of care for com­mu­ni­ties shown by po­lit­i­cal lead­ers. She said it was al­most as though the coun­try chal­lenges one to shut down in or­der to cope with all the trauma that is hap­pen­ing. “On this al­bum I am of­fer­ing my own cop­ing mech­a­nisms. I am of­fer­ing my own way of feel­ing sane in a space that could po­ten­tially make a per­son with a heart that works in­sane,” she said. Msaki said she would still per­form songs from her first al­bum. “I’ve been to Swazi­land and Le­sotho, and I went to play in Mada­gas­car for the prime min­is­ter with other South African mu­si­cians. That was a high­light, be­ing in Mada­gas­car for the Nel­son Man­dela Day cel­e­bra­tions. “It was great, I got to see that mu­sic trans­lates in dif­fer­ent spa­ces,” she said. The mother of two said she was en­joy­ing the pace of her growth in the mu­sic in­dus­try. “It’s not over­whelm­ing. Peo­ple are dis­cov­er­ing me in small batches. The peo­ple that catch onto my mu­sic have a deeper con­nec­tion to it and that’s what I’ve al­ways wanted.” Msaki said be­ing nom­i­nated ear­lier this year for the Sama best adult con­tem­po­rary al­bum had been hugely en­cour­ag­ing. “It showed me that live mu­sic was be­ing val­ued.” She was nom­i­nated along­side Elvis Blue, Ma­jozi, Mango Groove and the leg­endary Hugh Masekela, who won the award. Catch Msaki this Sun­day at the Arts Theatre. Tick­ets for the show cost R150 and are avail­able at Mu­sica. The show starts at 5pm. —

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