The Mixtape Vol. 103

A mix of music that musician Bongeziwe Mabandla is listening to

It took Bongeziwe Mabandla five years to follow up his debut album Umlilo as he wanted to create an album that felt personal and based on ideas or experiences that were worth making music about. Which took slightly longer than he’d initially expected.

“I struggled and wrote a lot but the content just did not touch me,” says the Eastern Cape singer-songwriter who is deeply passionate about his Xhosa culture. That is until Bongeziwe started working on an idea for a song called ‘Wena’ and the material finally started coming to life.

“I realised that music and spirituality had a very good connection. The song came very fast. I started writing more songs around that and the album was born.”

Concentrating on songs about God and existence, Bongeziwe is mixing a lot of different sounds for Mangaliso, which has been written in a folk style and the production is very urban and electronic.

“I wanted to fuse my style with the kind of music that is current and happening in the world today.”

You can listen to the first single 'Ndokulandela', here, and then read our interview with the musician after the jump.

You'll be touring with Tiago from 340ml and Zebra & Giraffe's Mike Wright. Can you tell us where you plan on playing and why you've chosen to work with these musicians?

Tiago worked as the producer on my whole album, and he is this very creative musician. So when I had the opportunity to do some performances with him, I jumped at the opportunity. I like working with him because he does things in a very original way. Mike adds an exciting new element to our set and brings all his great experience.

What’s your opinion of the current state of local music?

I think there is plenty of talent in South Africa. I think the best voices are really here. I often ask myself 'why are we not conquering the world?" because we have what it takes, and I'm inspired by artists like Petite Noir, Spoek Mathambo and Die Antwoord, who are heading in that direction.

You've always had a distinct sense of style, why is dressing well important to you and does your dress sense influence your music at all?

I do like fashion and I take influences from many people. I think it's actually my music that influences my dress style. I did art at school and have always loved colour and texture.

Anything to add, please do so here…

I’m excited to be working with Spoek Mathambo. I am a big fan of his music and I'm over the moon to have him on the album. Also Kyla-Rose Smith from Freshly Ground, who played the violin.


Frank Ocean ‘Nikes’

Busi Mhlongo ‘Ebathenjini’

Thandiswa Mazwai ‘Thongo Lam’

Simphiwe Dana ‘Ndimi Nawe’

Solange ‘Losing you’

Tshabalala ‘Samthing Soweto’

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