Turn it Up!
Multi-talented singer and songwriter, Zandie Khumalo, is finally taking centre stage as a leading solo artist, with the release of her debut album Izikhali ZamaNtungwa.
The younger sister of vocalist Kelly Khumalo, Zandie has now stepped out of her elder sister’s shadow to show her fans exactly what she is made of on Izikhali ZamaNtungwa, her debut Afrosoul album.
The title means “Weapons of the maNtungwa”, and is inspired by her clan name. Her heritage and identity are close to her heart, and as an Afrosoul singer, keeping it real and soulful are part of the deal.
First out of the blocks of the 13-track album is “Nangu Makoti”, which is anchored in the rich traditional rhythms inspired by traditional wedding songs. It’s a fun, simple and uplifting sing-along song with infectious celebratory beats.
The rousing single “Nami Ngiyalifuna” is a love song dedicated to all the singles wishing to find love one day. Love is a golden thread that runs through Izikhali ZamaNtungwa. “I sing about the simplicity of love. The little things that we women pay attention to; the phone calls until 3am, flowers, holidays and those kind of treats,” she explains. “Ungenzani” is another celebration of love as a woman shares her innermost thoughts and feelings about how her loved one makes her feel.
Zandie was born in Thokoza, on the East Rand, but grew up in Nquthu, KwaZulu-Natal, before returning to Gauteng, where she moved around a lot. This nomadic life taught her to adapt to change fast. The experience also made it easy for her to straddle the vastly different worlds of modest rural KwaZulu-Natal, the vibrancy of a township, and the sophistication of city life – all these elements influence her music and the subjects she touches on.
After spending many years as her sister’s stylist, backing vocalist and manager – and with much persuasion from her husband and Kelly – Zandie finally stepped into the recording studio herself. “I thought I was just singing and recording for myself, but a beautiful song came out of it called ‘Themba’, which was my first single in 2016. It went to radio and I have never looked back since then,” she explains. “I just hope this album gets me where I want to be – I dream of being on big stages overseas with the biggest names ever.”