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Sunday World's Mzilikazi releases album to show his other skill

By unknown | Jul 24, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

Award-winning journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika has released his second house music album, Dance Or Die!

The 15-track release features some of the world's finest such as Ivory Coast's Meiway, a Kora music award-winner; UK-based Lynne E and Brazilian producer Roger Benou.

Mzilikazi, who uses the stage name Mzee, meaning Your Highness in Swahili, is one of South Africa's underrated producers who definitely has a bright future in the music industry.

The Bushbuckridge-born producer also features South Africa's award-winning musician, Pops Mohammed, on the track, Ttxoroca - pronounced Tiqorosa, which is !Kwe language for "we can dance".

The song features vocals done by Khoisan people and it was recorded at the Kalahari Desert in Namibia.

"Music is a universal language understood by everyone," Mzee said.

"As long as people feel the beat, the music and the groove, in my opinion, language does not matter that much."

Actually this statement is true - I enjoyed a track in the album, Nanan, by Paris-based musician Meiway, though it is in French.

The song has what is takes to make you dance serious kwasa-kwasa even if you're not a West African native.

South Africa's maskandi genius, Ihashi Elimhlophe, complements the album with his genius guitar wizardry.

He collaborates with Mzee on the song, Siya eDurban.

The evergreen Ihashi Elimhlophe is one of the musicians who most artists want to collaborate with because of his world-class touch.

Brothers of Peace, Mafikizolo and Amaponi are some of the local musical groups that have collaborated with him.

It took Mzee three years to complete the album, and the first song that he produced is Bomba.

"I have recorded more than 1000 songs and collaborated with the best DJs and musicians throughout the world. Out of the 1000 tracks I have produced only 15 songs have made it to this album," he said.

"I am planning to release the other songs in future. They will still be relevant because the music and the beats are matured."

Mzee said: "But I still have to complete producing some of the songs."

He said he was going to release more songs because "I do not want get new fans who will easily forget me after taking long to release".

On one of the tracks in Mzee's new release, Mina Bengidzakiwe, meaning I was drunk, he confessed he "was indeed drunk when I co-produced the song with Sabelo Simelane, a young producer from Swaziland".

"I had drank marula."

Though Mzee was drunk when he worked on the song, it has a catchy tune and you can dance to it when sober.

But the album is not only about dancing, it also revives the spirit of the late Nigerian musician, Fela Kuti.

Mzee paired with Nigerian guitarist and South African-based Kora award winner, Kunle Ayo, to produce Fela, a song dedicated to Fela Kuti.

Not only does he pay respects to Fela Kuti in the album but also to people from Limpopo and Mpumalangain the track, Mahuwelele. The song is a mixture of popular sounds from the two provinces.

Speaking of the north, Mzee said with the remix Neria, a classic track by Zimbabwe's superstar, Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi, he was reviving the popular song. The remix is expected to be popular at dance clubs.

He also features a Paris, France-based diva Clara "Felina" Creantor on the song Ma Faute.

The mixture of the different sounds from throughout the world make this an exciting and worthy album - a collectors' item.

Some music critics have called Mzee's album a fruit salad of house music because of his collaboration with other nations.

While Mzee is starting to make an impact in the music industry, he started producing music as a past-time because he is a journalist at Sunday World. He is the newspaper's investigative editor.

Dance or Die! is produced by Good Times Records. Mzee and Zakhele "Mzakesman" Shiba, a Sunday World's assistant news editor co-own the record label.


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