Muzi's fame gaining momentum as he drops new single

Muzi's dance sound and nifty moves set him apart from his peers./Kabelo Mokoena
Muzi's dance sound and nifty moves set him apart from his peers./Kabelo Mokoena

Muzi is part of the new, bold and brave vanguard of musicians who are not bogged down by rules or trying to fit in.

With his electronic dance sound, nifty moves and memorable voice, he's set apart from his peers and his fame is fast gaining momentum.

Just today, the 27-year-old releases his newest single We Are Growing, a rework of the 1986 song as performed by Margaret Singana (Mcingana) in the Shaka Zulu series.

"It is a slice of our history and an important part of the conversation we should have about people we must never forget. That song is my childhood's and I hope people will learn about Margaret Singana.

"I want to do that my whole career, retelling my generation about the great music we have. We are proud of who we are.

"I'm obsessed with Africans in space, technology or spirituality," he says.

That explains a lot why songs from his latest album Afrovision have a spacey feel about them - Zulu Skywalker and Bantu Space Odyssey, for example. The funky Boss Mode has cemented his place as the consummate performer. "I was depressed when I wrote it. I had to remind myself who I was. I love making music that's positive and feels like the sun rising in a dark place," he says.

Adding that, his music has themes of self-love and loving being black.

He draws inspiration from music of the 1980s as recorded by the likes of Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse, Harari, Chicco Twala and Splash, using synths to make electronic music.

The fifth and last-born child from Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, says he always knew that he was different, even how their mother brought them up with a strict 5pm curfew. He grew up on staple of cartoons like Dragon Ball Z, Aladdin and Biker Mice. He remembers how his father read a lot of philosophy and how this has rubbed off on him.

His mother almost got signed up as a musician but was stopped by her mother. After matric, Muzi went to a medical school at the University of KwaZulu Natal but after four years the bursary had dried up. The silver lining was that he could finally pursue music.

In 2013, Muzi moved to Joburg and hustled a publishing deal with BMG in London. He moved to Berlin, Germany for two years, where he immersed himself in music before returning home in 2016. He also spent time in Kenya where he says he gained the confidence to make black music the way he wanted.

Muzi performs at the Feel Good Series at Victoria Yards in Lorentzville, Joburg, on February 23