A fresh twist to Afro-pop

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

Anita Tshabalala, pictured, is among the new and enterprising, and recently emerged generation of musicians whose captivating sound lends freshness and vitality to Afro-pop.

Tshabalala, a third-year human resource development student at the Vaal University of Technology, has just released her debut album Awe'madoda.

Groups such as Mafikizolo, Malaika, Mina Nawe popularised Afro-pop, but Tshabalala's is a new sound within the genre. It's dominated by a fast tempo with an element of soul.

"I tried to accommodate both young and old in my album," Tshabalala says. "I have Afro-pop songs with dance beats added to make them more vibey. The album is inspired by everyday things. It's about township life and reality."

With her ambition, drive and a killer voice, Tshabalala is going places. She was born in Tshiawelo in 1985 and grew up in Orange Farm. At primary school she entered talent competitions and took part in drama. She even auditioned for the part of Anita Barker in Jam Alley.

" I started recording demos. After auditioning for Jam Alley, a friend introduced me to producer Melusi."