Mr Malungelo Sir hands bouquets of flowers to mentors

Award-winning Afro-soul DJ keeps up to date with latest sound

25 November 2022 - 07:15
By Masego Seemela
Music producer and hit-maker Malungelo Nyawo talks about the secret behind making hits.
Image: supplied Music producer and hit-maker Malungelo Nyawo talks about the secret behind making hits.

Music producer and hit-maker Malungelo Nyawo has credited the likes of DJ Cleo, Oskido and DJ Tira for paving the way for him in the music industry.

Nyawo, affectionately known for his tagline Mr Malungelo Sir, is the producer behind numerous hits that feature well-known musicians such as Kaylow, Xoli M, Zola 7, Unathi Nkayi, Moonchild Sanelly, Mapara A Jazz and Mduduzi Ncube.  

The Afro-soul DJ started producing music in 2007 and took the bold step of becoming a DJ in 2014 – a move he says changed his life “forever”.  

“I met DJ Cleo in 2009 and he took me under his wing, showing me the ropes of being a DJ and the ins and outs of the music business. DJ Tira’s influence came in a little later in my career where I’d absorb as much as I could from the founder of Afrotainment,” says the 34-year-old DJ.  

“When you have people you look up to mentor and show you how things are done, you realise what a blessing that is.”

Nyawo says the key to composing smash hits stems from his everyday life experiences and surroundings which he translates into song format.

“I always make sure I am up to date with the latest sound. Be it from America or Nigeria. I always have my finger on the pulse on which sound people are gravitating towards. Sometimes I tend to be creative and come up with lyrics that will be catchy and sweet to the ears,” says the hit-maker.

“Being a singer also helps. It makes composing and producing songs a lot easier because the melodies are just in your head, I just need to create them.”  

“My love for music started at church, singing in the choir… it then grew from there sparking my interest in songwriting. I then became fascinated by the art of DJing at the age of 13,” he says.

“Winning gospel music competitions at school motivated and proved to me that I should keep pushing this music thing.”

Nyawo says his tagline “Mr Malungelo Sir” which he plays in the intros of all his songs comes from his employees at his mining and engineering company Circle Rail as a sign of respect to him.

Image: supplied

“Seeing that my employees were referring to me as Mr Malungelo Sir, Mapara A Jazz decided to record it and advised me to incorporate it into my music. It’s a cool feature that brings a synonymous feeling to my music.”   

This year seemed to be a great year for the well-known DJ as he received two awards, one from Women with a Mission Recognition and Achievement Awards (WWMRA) and the other from Eminent Music Video Awards for his song Nguwe on which he features Mduduzi Ncube and Xowla.

“My journey so far in the game has been nothing short of amazing, especially for someone like me who comes from Sodwana Bay in Mbazwana, KZN. Having my music cross over KZN to provinces such as Gauteng and the Western Cape is truly humbling… it’s actually a dream come true to have my music received by South Africans like this.

“At some point, I didn’t think I’d be this relevant based on the area that I’m from. I have new music that I recently released and I hope people will be jamming to the songs this festive season."

seemelam@arena.africa