27-year-old gives jazz a modern twist

Jazz is recognized as a mature taste for the oldies, but not for this young instrumentalist.

Mpumi Dhlamini, an all rounder talented multi-instrumentalist has an interesting trick up his sleeve as he introduces a new experience for jazz lovers to his second album titled 'The Cultural Express' soon to hit the shelves of music stores.

Very different to a studio created album, Dhlamini takes you on his musical journey with a concept of listening to a radio show from inside a train featuring Azania Mosaka as the radio host.

“It’s a full-on radio station produced album. I came up with a concept where I used Azania in studio as a host of The Cultural Express to give it a radio show feel from inside a train,” he says.

The 27 year old chats about urban jazz fused with hip-hop, bebeop up-tempo and neo soul.

“My new album is a way of me defining the different genres of the album.

With this not being his first album, he says whilst compiling the tracks and being hands on the second time around, had helped discover who he is in music.

“It’s very different to my first album 'Combined Elements' because on this one I found myself and the kind of music I want.

“I am trying to commercialize jazz, to reach a young market. Often people think Jazz is for the oldies but music has no age, it can be made to fit all markets,” Dhlamini says.

We often hear about musicians taking months and years to put together an album, however Dhlamini’s album dropping next month took an impressive one month to compile.

“It took only a month to work on this album. I don’t sit with music because you end up diluting the songs and changing its original sound.”

Inspired by musicians such as Shaloza Max, he also tried to introduce Maskanda music into jazz.

Other artists that impacted Dhlamini’s music career include Kirk William.

His career line dates back to days when he teamed up with Lira as a band and producing albums for the likes of Zama Jobe as well as collaborated with Proverb.

His first album got him a South African Music Awards nomination for ‘Best Newcomer’ and Metro FM Awards nomination for ‘Best Jazz Album’.