The Mixtape Vol. 127

Jozia is an independent artist from Jozi singing in Sepedi, Zulu, Xhosa, Xevenda and English

Rose Lukhele aka JOZIA is an indie artist from Johannesburg who not only composes and performs her own music, but directs her own music videos, too. 

It was her latest video, for her song Mamokebe, in which she’s depicted as a siren and deals with themes of isolation and alienation that first brought Jozia to our attention. 

Born in Daveyton, Jozia started singing in her local church choir at the age of 13 and worked after school until she’d saved enough money to fund her music studies. 

Now she’s experimenting with styles, sounds and blending everything from acoustic folk to soul, pop and indie rock while singing in Sepedi, Zulu, Xhosa, Xevenda and English. 

The artist put together today’s mix for The Way of Us and then answered some questions we asked about her sound and style. 

What's your sound story?

I wanted to be a musician for as long as I can remember. When I was thirteen I started singing in the local church choir and after high school, I worked for a few years in Cape Town to fund my music studies that I eventually started in 2015 at COPA in Johannesburg. In the same year, I recorded my EP, AT LAST, in Zurich. I collaborated with Dutch guitarist, Jordi Kemperman, and British sound engineer, Nigel Hilbourne. Last year, I recorded my first full album, entitled Mamokebe, at Darkstar Studios in Johannesburg, working with Kevin Leicher.

Describe your process.

When I write a song, the music happens to me like a vision or a dream. From the beginning, it comes with an overall idea of the song, as if it were already recorded – the melody is there as well as the mood, the structure, the rhythm, the lyrics of the chorus, and even the instrumentation. The first thing I do is to record this sketch of the song on my cell-phone. Later, I use my voice as an “instrument“ to direct the other musicians on how I want them to play. I sing an a capella melody for the guitar or the bass line and I produce the rhythm of the percussion with my hands, etc.

Which bands did you grow up listening to and what are you into nowadays?

Growing up I listened to RnB, Afro-Pop and Kwaito – mainly mainstream music like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, Brandy, Boom Shaka etc. Nowadays I'm much more interested in indie music. Among my favourite songs are currently ‘Oh Wonder’ by Livewire, ‘Two Weeks‘ by FKA Twigs, ‘Lick‘ by Cardi B, ‘Lotus Flower’ by Radiohead, ‘Daylight’ by Fortune Shumba. If I had to name the artist that's inspired me the most it would be David Bowie.

What's your favourite music festival and why?

The annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the desert of Nevada. People from all over the world gather for a week of pure madness. I would love to participate one day!

Describe your dance style.

Don’t believe me. Just watch…

Tell us about this mix you've made for us.

I’ve made a selection of my own songs, followed by a collection of tracks from other artists that I like a lot, ranging from well-known classics to hidden gems.

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