The man behind Akanamali
Former The Soil band member says music saved him from a life of crime
JUST minutes into a conversation with Samthing Soweto, real name Samkelo Mdolomba, it becomes clear that his love for music comes from a deep place. The 29-year-old musician from Soweto is the man behind the hit single, Akanamali, which is dominating airwaves and dancefloors. He says he isn’t surprised that the song is as big as it is because he puts his heart into every song he records.
QUITTING THE SOIL
Many people might think Samthing Soweto is new to the industry, but he has been around for over 10 years, having started out with the acapella group, The Soil.
The group’s debut album was an instant success, with Samthing Soweto having written eight out of the 11 songs on the album.
He says his decision to leave the group might have been too ‘aggressive’, leaving at a time when they were at their peak.
“Music is all I know. When a record label signed us, I could not quite understand why I had to comply with the restrictions. Looking back, I realise that it was a bad business decision.”
When asked about how he feels about the group’s success, he says, “For me, it was never about the money or fame, so I don’t have a problem with their success. It just hurts to see that I was not part of the songs that I had written.”
Samthing Soweto maintains that there is no bad blood between him and his former band members.
HOW MUSIC SAVED HIS LIFE
The man behind the sultry harmonies has not always been as soft and put together as he sounds as there was a time when he was in trouble with the law.
“I was once arrested for something serious and I was in jail for two and a half months. But I don’t like talking about that part of my life. When I came out, music saved my life,” he says.
On the outside he seemed rebellious, but little did people know that going into a life of crime was an escape for him.
“My mom got mentally-ill. It was so sad to see a woman who was a teacher, self-actualised and strong lose her mind. It broke me and that part of my life was the reason I got into trouble with the police.”
READY TO COMMIT TO A LABEL
Samthing Soweto says he has been having some interesting conversations with people keen on signing him.
“I have had the taste of independence, but I think right now I am ready to work with people who are interested in my music,” he says.
There is no telling what sound he will explore next because all his songs show-off his musical and creative abilities that are not one dimensional.
IWAS ONCE ARRESTED FOR SOMETHING SERIOUS
ABOVE: Samthing Soweto says there is no bad blood between him and The Soil