Music
Courtesy of Universal Music

Brenda Mtambo Announces New Single ‘Khululeka’

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Brenda Mtambo's single 'Khululeka' is an ode to her emotional growth and the mental health battles she conquered in the past year.

Brenda Mtambo shares that "Khululeka" was born out of her personal struggles. "The title of the song stems from my lived experience with chronic anxiety, a diagnosis that led to my self-introspection and finding the words to express myself. "Khululeka" is me pouring my heart out and hoping it brings healing to those struggling with mental health issues,'' Mtambo explained in a statement.

The last few months have been incredibly difficult for most and music remains one of the few constants that soothe the soul. Mtambo, like many battling emotional challenges during these turbulent times, sought refuge in music.

In May 2020, the velvety-voiced singer opened up about her mental health struggles. She penned most of them down, she says, adding that she mostly felt emotionally vulnerable. "Have you ever thought you're losing your mind over something? That's how I have been. But I am healing each and everyday," the soulful singer told her social media followers.

"Khululeka", she enthuses, is an ode to growth and conquering that difficult chapter in her life. Mtambo, a Best Urban Jazz and Best Female nominee at the 2016 Metro Fm Music Awards, hopes that her latest offering will soothe, uplift and inspire those who are going through life's challenges.

Brenda Mtambo's new single is an ode to her emotional growth. Courtesy of Universal Music


Through this single, Mtambo wishes to invite her fans to bask in the glory of freedom, saneness, hope and faith — and is confident that the track will appeal to, both, old and new fans.

Mtambo cut her teeth in the South African music industry as a back-up musician for artists such as the late Hugh Masekela and Lira amongst others. Mtambo's latest work "demonstrates the progression of sound as an artist and delivers a mature and soulful feel," notes Urban Promotions Manager Lwazi Zondo.

"Khululeka" is a prelude to the launch of the full album SANE, due for release in August this year. One of Mtambo's biggest career highlights was performing her politically-charged single "Mhlaba Wethu" in front of thousands of mourners at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's memorial service held at Orlando Stadium, Soweto, in Johannesburg on April 11, 2018.

"Khululeka" is available on all major streaming platforms.



Interview
Image courtesy of the artist.

5 Nigerian Artists Open Up About Mental Health

Olamide, Joeboy, Jahblend, WurlD and Tems tell us how they keep up their mental health as public figures in the Nigerian music industry.

According to a 2016 study, musicians are three more times likely to undergo psychotherapy than the average person. While being wrongly perceived and stigmatized as "western sickness," discussions about mental health awareness have made considerable improvements in the Nigerian music scene in recent years. As more artists shed light on the subject through personal accounts and counsel, the music industry is expected to prioritize the psychological balance of artists as they're the industry's lifeblood. Even more so following what an unfathomable year 2020 has been for most people.

Nigerian artists are typically heaped with a slew of battles that range between maintaining momentum in an ever-evolving industry, falling through the cracks, cutting through the noise of a saturated industry, balancing personal and public expectations, absorbing public scrutiny, the lows and highs of performing and connecting with audiences, meeting label/investor, media, fan expectations, and more. For many, it begins with seemingly insignificant thoughts which snowball into anxiety that in turn imperils their productivity and basically career.

In May, Atlanta-based label LoveRenaissance (LVRN) launched its mental health offshoot focused on psychological wellness, providing therapy and life coaching for its staff and artists which include Santi, 6lack, and Summer Walker. "In the Black community—I'm Nigerian—therapy or mental health isn't something we speak of. It's almost like breaking down that wall and trying something new," says Tunde Balogun, co-founder of LVRN.

Staying the cause, Olamide, Joeboy, Jahblend, WurlD, and Tems speak to OkayAfrica, divulging personal experiences, sentiments and how the Nigerian music industry can foster mental health awareness amongst artists.

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