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Ndlulamthi. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Watch Cape Town Lyricist Ndlulamthi Perform Songs From His Stellar Sophomore Album ‘Hard Livings’

Ndlulamthi performs and breaks down some songs from his album 'Hard Livings.'

Cape Town rapper and poet Ndlulamthi recently performed a few songs from his sophomore album, the masterpiece he released last year titled Hard Livings. The MC is one of several artists who have performed in the YouTube series, Smile Sessions. The show takes the same format as similar ones, such as JR's Feel Good Live Sessions and NPR Tiny Desktop Concert, where an artist performs a selection of songs in front of an intimate audience.


Read: Ndlulamthi Offers A Screenshot of Life in Cape Town's Black Townships in His New Album 'Hard Livings'

Ndlulamthi gets to break down some of the songs from Hard Livings: "Gun Dubula," "Abahlali," "Late Bels Ngomgqibelo," "Diary," "Usengu Tatam." He opens the set with his niche classic "Andivoti," featuring close friend, producer and collaborator FiveSix, and closes it with the personal tune "Usengu Tatam," which is about his father.

Ndlulamthi's style of writing is layered, and the explanations he gives between songs during the set will help shed some light and give context especially to those who don't have the lived experience of being black and living in the hood in Cape Town, which is the focal point of Hard Livings. If you are educated enough to understand IsiXhosa, don't miss out on some serious food for thought.

Watch the whole performance below, and be sure to download Hard Livings here or stream it below:

Smile Sessions - Episode 7 [Season Finale] - Ndlulamthi www.youtube.com



Read: How IsiXhosa Became The Official Language of Wakanda on 'Black Panther'

Music
Photo courtesy of AYLØ.

Interview: AYLØ Bridges His Music & Universe In the 'Clairsentience' EP

The Nigerian artist talks about trusting your gut feelings, remedying imposter syndrome and why our identity is best rooted in who we are, rather than what we do.

AYLØ's evolution as an artist has led him to view sensitivity as a gift. As the alté soundscape in the Nigerian scene gains significant traction, his laser focus cuts through the tempting smokescreen of commercial success. AYLØ doesn't make music out of need or habit. It all boils down to the power of feeling. "I know how I can inspire people when I make music, and how music inspires me. Now it's more about the message."

Clairsentience, the title of the Nigerian artist's latest EP, is simply defined as the ability to perceive things clearly. A clairsentient person perceives the world through their emotions. Contrary to popular belief, clairsentience isn't a paranormal sixth sense reserved for the chosen few, our inner child reveals that it's an innate faculty that lives within us before the world told us who to be.

Born in 1994 in Benin City, Nigeria, AYLØ knew he wanted to be a musician since he was six-years-old. Raised against the colorful backdrop of his dad's jazz records and the echoes of church choirs from his mother's vast gospel collections, making music isn't something anyone pushed him towards, it organically came to be. By revisiting his past to reconcile his promising future, he shares that, "Music is about your experiences. You have to live to write shit. Everything adds up to the music."

Our conversation emphasized the importance of trusting your gut feelings, how to remedy imposter syndrome and why our identity is best rooted in who we are, rather than what we do,

This interview has been edited for purposes of brevity and clarity.

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