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Still taken from 'Nkulunkulu' music video.

Kamo Mphela Drops 'Nkulunkulu' EP.

Kamo Mphela's Latest EP 'Nkulunkulu' is a Must-Listen

While Kamo Mphela's comparison to the late Lebo Mathosa has been front and centre, it's really her vibrant amapiano EP 'Nkulunkulu' that should be centre stage.

South African amapiano artist, Kamo Mphela, has been a major talking point on social media recently after one fan on social media compared her to the late kwaito artist, Lebo Mathosa. While the debate focused on whether the comparison had any merit to it (as is often the case in comparisons between new wave and veteran artists), what is undeniable is the talent of both women. Twenty-one-year-old Mphela, who released her Nkulunkulu EP last week, delivered a vibrant project which deserves to be acknowledged beyond conversations that unwittingly take away from her own journey as an upcoming artist.


READ: 21 Amapiano Songs By Artists From Outside South Africa To Stream Right Now

Nkulunkulu EP is a 4-track EP which features Vigro Deep, MFR Souls, Major League Djz and more. The same-titled track Nkulunkulu (translates to "God" from Zulu), was released last month ahead of the EP release. It's a classic amapiano number with the accompanying visuals that daringly feature religious imagery and the artist's own impression of Leonardo da Vinci's 15th-century painting, The Last Supper. "Percy Tau" is a mellow number whose soundscape is quite reminiscent of "uLazi" by Mr JazziQ and 9umba and also features the latter artist. "Mamazala" and "100 Shooter" are definite bangers as well.

Speaking about the release of her EP, Mphela says, "My EP Nkulunkulu is only the beginning and I can't wait to perform on stage soon. I'm also really excited bring my music and dance fans more dope projects to enjoy in the near future." Mphela has previously collaborated with artists such as Busiswa on "SBWL", Niniola on the "Squander (Remix)" and several more. She is certainly an artist we are keeping our eye on.

Listen to the Nkulunkulu EP on Apple Music:

Listen to the Nkulunkulu EP on Spotify:

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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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