Audio: Lwanda Gogwana's Songbook

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“Initially I wanted to play the saxophone,” says trumpeter and composer Lwanda Gogwana. The 20-something South African-born jazz artist had been playing the piano and singing in the school choir by the time he was eight but he was still eager to explore other musical frontiers. His mind settled on the saxophone “but the school only had one saxophone” so he picked up a trumpet instead.

15 years after such a serendipitous start the trumpeter has netted an impressive three nominations from the MTN South African Music Awards (SAMA) –Newcomer of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, and Best Jazz Album - for his debut, Lwanda Gogwana Songbook: Chapter 1 (Lwanda Gogwana Music Group). The album features eleven original compositions Gogwana wrote at different stages of his youth; cataloguing his growth as a musician with nods to jazz-giants such as Hugh Masekela, Feya Faku, Miles Davis, and Moses Molelekwa.

Billed as a journey of self-discovery, “trying to discover and understand myself as a descendent of amaXhosa in the context of this modern world”, Chapter 1 fuses contemporary jazz harmonies with sounds from his Xhosa roots in the Eastern Cape. “I have a desire to deeply understand Xhosa music” he said. “This may be why you here some traces here and there…I’m basically on that journey, it may be long, or just a phase or even my calling, time will tell." Below stream "The Calling," listen to a recap of the album above.

[audio:|titles=The Calling]

"The Calling"


Interview: TOBi Is Making Unapologetic Soul Music

We talk to the Nigerian-Canadian artist about his latest project ELEMENTS, his creative process, mental health and more.

It's a big year for music, and in the midst of many good drops from the motherland and beyond, we caught up with Nigerian-Canadian singer/songwriter TOBi to discuss his recently released 10-track project ELEMENTS.

ELEMENTS is a fusion of old-school soul, contemporary rap sequences, clever lyrical symbols & metaphors. and melancholic vibes which reference TOBi's Nigerian heritage through afrobeats, the reality of his life and the state of the world today. The compilation features production from Nigerian producer Juls on "Dollas and Cents" and "Made Me Everything and Shine."

Below, we also discuss his creative process and passion for mental health with the announcement of an exciting collaboration. "I'm attracted and curious about so many things in life that I can't help but bring [them] into my world and craft," the multi-genre artist says.

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