I first came across Muzi before he dropped his album Afrovision, at an event where he was djing. I was intrigued by how he seamlessly and interestingly fused different sounds like Kwaito and electronic dance together.
After the event, I realised I was late to the Muzi train. So, once his album dropped, I downloaded the album on iTunes – I had to hear what the fuss was about and hear more of this gentle brother’s sound. I finally understood what people were going on about, jamming to my favourite tracks Kini and Zulu Skywalker.
Muziwakhe Mazibuko hails from humble beginnings of the small town Empangeni in Kwa-Zulu Natal province, South Africa, as the last born of five children living with his single mother.
“Shit was hard, we had nothing but we had love from my mom. That’s what I grew up on and that’s what I try to do even now. I try to be some form of light for people and myself like my mother did for me growing up. My humble upbringing taught me a lot about love, life and being kind. It was also very musical. My dad used to collect many vinyls and my mom would sing, so, I was always surrounded by music,” he said.
Mom used to tell me stories about how her parents had to take trains to JHB for em mines. How people left their farms to go dig up some diamonds/gold + how that fucked up the black family. We have to find ways of puttin our history, culture into our art
These are the visions pic.twitter.com/moPNh7Rp54
— Muzi 🇿🇦 (@muziou) October 14, 2018
Muzi has impressed and won the hearts of many, including international musicians like Diplo and South Africa’s very own, Black Coffee. The vibrant musician has been making music since he was 11 before he decided he was ready to take his craft to the world at 22.
“I’d make beats for myself. When I was 18, I started working with rappers, that’s when I started getting into it professionally and then when I turned 22, I started doing my own thing as Muzi and it has grown from there,” he said.
Muzi was inspired by a culmination of events and self rediscovery as he returned back home to South Africa after spending two years in Berlin, Germany. Muzi said his music always has a reference of going back home and one staying connected to their roots especially, as a Black African living in a modern society.
“Coming back from Europe I was feeling disconnected from the people I was trying to inspire and from home. Before coming back (to SA), I went to Kenya for three weeks and that was really dope. I was seeing Black people on billboards again, visiting traditional tribes and other little things like that (he said fondly whilst laughing). I had to re-immerse into the culture and realised I wasn’t as disconnected as I felt. When I came back home and visited my mother, she would play me all the music she’d play whilst I was growing up. It was like I was getting reborn again and the music for AfroVision just came. I didn’t know I was making an album at the time, I was just creating a lot,” he said.
The spiritual and self- introspecting musician said women inspire him and credits his relationship with his mother as being a huge influence not only in his life but also in his music.
“I’m very close to my mom. My mother has always been there, so, it feels like we’re best friends. Women inspire me a lot in regards to their feminine, open and creative energy. The industry is like a dick fest, so I’m always trying to speak to my mom for understanding. One of my best friend’s is a woman. I don’t relate to bravado, ego and masculine shit because I never had a dad, so, I don’t know how to be mucho ‘ndoda (man). My life and life in general inspires me, going out and seeing people and how they live,” he said.
The love is felt. The love is appreciated ❤️ Ngyabonga 🙏🏾
— Muzi 🇿🇦 (@muziou) September 11, 2018
In his down time, Muzi enjoys catching up on his latest reads and making sure he stays in tune with himself, preferring his own space and company to the clubs. Also spending quality time hanging out with his friends and the people he loves is what keeps him grounded and sane during the tough times.
“I’m working on myself. I don’t think people talk about that and only focus on the art. I’m always trying to be a better person. I read a lot, and speak to the people around me to be honest about me. I’m aware of when I’m f**king up and have to fix that and be better. Growing as a person, continuous progress,” he said.
I asked the self-described romantic musician if he plays an instrument, and he embarrassingly admitted that he once tried to learn the guitar to impress a girl, who was not impressed to say the least. LOL. I guess a lesson to the young ones that a way to someone’s heart is to always be genuine and true to yourself.
Muzi has had an incredible year, from launching Afrovision (and the amazing reception he received), touring in the U.K., playing at Rocking the Daisies festival in Cape Town and Oppikoppi festival in Limpopo, just to name a few. It’s easy to see why people can’t get enough of his music and has been able to take his talents worldwide.
Muzi edit preparations 😎
— Muzi 🇿🇦 (@muziou) October 2, 2018
If you have not heard Muzi’s music yet, I understand it’s been a busy 2018. But, do yourself a favor and take a listen to Afrovision. It’s hard for one to ignore Muzi’s, as his infectious and easy-going personality will easily lure you in through his music and before you know it you will be jamming to one of his tracks.
Catch Muzi live at Afropunk festival Dec. 30-31 at Constitutional Hill, Braamfontein in Johannesburg, South Africa.