Five minutes with gospel singer Khana Mhlongo

Khana Mhlongo
Khana Mhlongo
Image: Supplied

Khana Mhlongo is an up and coming gospel singer who released his third studio album in April. He chats to SowetanLIVE about his music and life under lockdown. 

1. Who is Khana Mhlongo?

I am a 34-year-old man. I was born in Thulamahashe in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga. I started singing at the age of five in a local church, with two full length albums already to my credit (Iculo and Good News). I received Christ at of age of 12 and gospel music had everything to do with it. I am a father and a husband.

2. Have you always been interested in music? Why gospel?

I believe gospel chose me. I can’t really see me even in future singing anything else, but gospel. I was raised by mother who has a song for everything. So, for every occasion we have a song and a verse. When I started to be aware of church, the sound and words that come with gospel, gospel spoke to my soul. Praise and worship always speak to my soul.

3. What have projects have you been working on?

Moya Oyincwele is my third studio album after Iculo and Good News. Iculo was my first experience in studio in 2009 which was self-produced and it was followed by Good News. Moya Oyincwele is the first album that’s not self-produced. The beauty of it was hearing myself through the vision of someone else. It’s a 12 tracked album with a mix of old and new compositions. The message in many of the songs is rooted in a personal prayer to God for spiritual revival. Prayer for a renewed heart and perspective and finding self in God's purpose. The G is not missing in Moya oyincwele, God is in our hearts. The diverse language use make the album, I love the impact of language, especially African; whenever I sing it brings colour and beautiful texture. The singing is very vulnerable simply because it’s a prayer. When one listen to the album sincerity overpowers notation perfection because that’s what we do in prayer. We pour out all our truth without hesitation.

4. Has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your faith?

This pandemic has been hard on all of us, but at the same time gave me an opportunity to have time with God. Time to reflect on my personal relationship with family and what’s most important. I remembered that God lives in the heart of man not the buildings. This was the first Easter in years where I didn’t go to church and be with other believers, though it was easy at first but later I remembered that the First Easter/Passover happened in Egypt with the death of the first born sons. It’s a similar situation, we are home with our families and death is roaming the streets. We are sharing the little we have with our loved once and church is our small families. The isolation has taken us back to God; it is time for renewal.