Bongani is free-spirited

FROM traffic updates on the radio to sultry singing on the airwaves, Bongani Nxumalo's voice is adored by many.

Although this is his first album, Nxumalo has been around for a long time. He was a backing vocalist for Hugh Masekela, Jonathan Butler, Kirk Franklin, Donnie Mckluckin, just to name a few.

He also sang at the Bambi awards at the Theater Im Hafen in Hamburg. If that's not enough, he was also a guest performer on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and a presenter and actor on Maropeng, The Spirit of the Lion King and The Perfect Sishebo Cooking Show on SABC 2. He is currently a traffic reporter for Highveld Stereo.

Like the man says: "I've grown and matured."

Born in Emakhaya, KwaZulu-Natal, bred in the township, lived on the streets and, influenced by the ghetto lifestyle, his music has an influence of reggae, R&B, kwaito, gospel and Zulu.

The self-titled album was produced by Kamak Productions, which he and his wife Keatlaretse own and manage. This new production company is aimed at anyone who can sing and wants a music career, not just a music hobby.

The album covers songs from the 80s and 90s and has three original tracks with a bonus Afrikaans track remixed with Zulu. It is available at Musica stores nationwide.

"I'm a socialite and want people to socialise. I love to make friends. Everything I do has a personal touch. I'm a family man, husband and lover. I'm free spirited. What you see is what you get.

"A family bond is the greatest thing in life. You can't get anywhere if you don't have a family structure. But family to me is not only my commonly known family. Family means anybody who means something - to me," Nxumalo says.

The idea about the album was to create a love album, but at the same time enable people to move with the beat. He wanted to create the idea of emotion versus motion. It is a journey. He wants to talk to people at a stadium, a cocktail party, home , a braai - pretty much anywhere, doing anything.