A new gospel king is born

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Musician Thomas Munyai exudes confidence and passion when he speaks of music and the traditional gospel music he has become known for.

Munyai has released his second album, a 12 tracker called Lupfumo Pfumo Ndiwe, at the end of October this year.

His first was released in 2007 before he joined Five Folds Records, one of a growing number of independent labels that nowadays defines the local recording industry scene.

Since he signed with Five Fold Records his fortunes in the music industry have greatly improved and looks to improve further, he says.

This is welcome news after he lugged his demo from one major recording company to the other without success.

Hungry for success and for fortune, he found a warm reception at Five Fold Records, where his creativity is respected and he is treated in a way that accords with what one expects of a relationship between a recording company and its artists - the lifeblood of the music industry.

He picks up his journey in the music industry.

"When I came to Johannesburg in 1995 I used to sing in church - the Zion Christian Church Choir. I was part of the church choir singing mkhukhu music, honing my skills until I was ready to go solo."

Born and bred in the rolling mountains of Venda in Limpopo, he comes from the village of Ha-mulima near Elim.

"I grew up in a family where everyone was a singer, including my brother Zakaria, who used to be a choir conductor."

But listening to his new album, one realises that though Munyai calls himself a gospel artist, it is actually gospel flavoured with a dash of jazz, dance, reggae and house music thrown in, a unique combination on the local music scene.

He says he was inspired by Oleseng and Nkosana to get into the music industry.