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Listen to Mafikizolo's New Single 'Ngeke Balunge'

The South African music duo delivers a love story about an African 'Romeo and Juliet'.

Beloved music duo Mafikizolo is back with another Afro-soul anthem that will tug at your heartstrings. After close to two decades of serenading South Africans and the broader continent, the talented Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza have given us timeless hits including "Emlanjeni", "Udakwa Njalo" and more recently "Khona" and "Love Potion". Their new single "Ngeke Balunge" is a beautiful love song that sees them returning to the sound that first catapulted them to mainstream success in the early 2000s.


Singing "Ngeke balunge, Ngeke bas'qede" the duo describe how those around them will never succeed in coming between their love for one another because they will always find their way back to each other—just as with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

The mid-tempo track, which was written and produced by the talented Mondli Ngcobo, features the use of a number of instrumentals which speak to the group's original sound and signature style. The single is the duo's second official release for this year following "Letheka" which was released earlier this year in June. At the beginning of the year, Mafikizolo featured on German artist Ralph GUM's "Uyakhala" and Rafiki's "Ke Nyaka Yole".

Listen to "Ngeke Balunge" on Apple Music or Spotify.

Interview
Photo: Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

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