Chyma back on top after baptism of fire
DJ Chymamusique has emerged from the furnace of life stronger and bolder.
The once high-flying club DJ and producer has made a magnificent return with a sterling album aptly titled After the Storm - looking back at what has happened in his life.
He picked up a few awards such as Best New Act at the Metro FM Awards, accolades and some notoriety in just over a year and then disappeared from the scene.
Chymamusique, 27, whose real name is Collen Mmotla, tells me that he lost everything and was struck down by an inexplicable disease. All his studio equipment, cars, relationships and precious belongings disappeared in 2016, his annus horribilis.
He had been in the fast lane, living the high life of booze, girls and lavish consumption.
After beating the demons with the help of the church, he's a different man, anchored in faith. He's cleaned up his act, stopped smoking and kicked out his drinking habit.
"I've let go of pride and ego and what other people think is cool. I talk life and I talk sense. I'm not ashamed of what I went through. God was pulling me closer to Him, and I needed to be uncomfortable.
"Now I appreciate every little thing. I used to think that I had the right to wake up in the morning to go and buy Johnnie Walker Black, but things are different," he shares.
With the success of After the Storm and the single Follow, Chymamusique is on track for a remarkable festive season.
The album caters for every palette and boasts impressive production values. Singles After the Storm; I Choose You with John Lundun featuring Afrotraction; Life Everlasting with Glen Lewis featuring Bongani and Mjojo; Mela MaAfrika with DJ Fresh featuring Buyiswa; and Take Me Away with Black Motion featuring Denny Dug; straddle gospel, pop, tribal, jazz and Afrobeat.
He comes from a jazz background as a pianist but now he's one of the most exciting trailblazers in dance/house.
So confident is he about the album that he's offered to refund anybody who bought a copy and couldn't find a favourite track.
He was recently honoured with a Best Producer trophy at the Limpopo Music Awards (Lima). "Even after the silence, it's amazing that people still think I'm a great producer."
His enterprising streak has seen Chymamusique spread his interests to managing venues such as Platinum Lounge at Kya Sands, Joburg; he's also developing a park at his hometown of Burgersfort.
His company, Chymamusiq, continues to groom young and ambitious musicians.
DJ Glen Lewis gives him his thumbs up: "Chymamusique is a great guy and a special talent. He is definitely the future as a DJ, producer and businessman. He is a hard worker representing Limpopo. He's doing his things quietly ... he's not an attention-seeker. He will be around for a long time."
As he reflects on his journey, Chymamusique offers: "I've learned that life is unpredictable, that you have to do good, that you reap what you sow and that you must invest in other people.
"You have to remain humble and never believe that you've arrived. No matter how far you may be in life, be kind to people and learn to say, 'please' and 'thank you'."