African and proud: Getting to know Dumza Maswana

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Johannesburg – Ensuring our African History is never forgotten was very close to legendary artist, Bra Hugh Masekela’s heart and I’m positive he would have loved Sama nominee and internationally acclaimed musician Dumza Maswana who through African storytelling and song, aims to inspire, uplift and heal while maintaining Black. We chatted to the popular artist who started a boy band called Healing Voices at age 17.

We love your soothing baritone voice and traditional attires what is your genre and who is your market?

Do u think the youth is your market as everything seems to be about Amapiano?

Young people love my music, they can relate to it. I tell relatable stories, using every day sound, so yes young people vibe with my sound. I’ve converted a lot young people who thought jazz was for old people. Also I’ve been invited by artists like Black Motion, Mobi Dixon and the like, to collaborate with them, that for me shows that they love the sound.

Is it a hard to continue telling African stories especially since the youth seem to enjoy music which makes them balance bottles on their heads?

My job as an artist is to make art, and keep getting better at it. I never really try to bend my work, style and ideas towards the direction of a certain market, I stay true to my own unique vision as an artist. So far it works for me, my fans stay.

Dumza Maswana. Image: Supplied.
Dumza Maswana. Image: Supplied.

What are you currently working on?

Just recorded my 3rd studio album titled “Celebrating African Song,” produced by Andile Yenana. It’s a tribute album, to my grandmother who taught me how to sing at a young age, and also my village, whose music raised me. I’m also promoting my live album “Live at The Guild Theatre” which is packaged in a USB.

Who is your role model?

Black Coffee is my role model. His journey and work ethic is very inspiring. I love the fact they he’s a collaborator, he’s relatable, he keeps reinventing himself and sound, and his humility. Also he’s very intentional about using his platform to tell African stories.

Which local artist would you love to do a duet with?

Simphiwe Dana, Brenda Mntambo, Mbuso Khoza, it’s a long list. I’m still sad about Mam’Sibongile Khumalo’s passing, we were set to have a song in this album.

Are u based in Gauteng or the Eastern Cape?

I’m based in Joburg, even though I spend a lot of time in the Eastern Cape. Joburg is my place of work, and EC is home. Jozi makes life of an artist a bit easy, EC is still learning how to treat, keep and respect talent.

Why is maintaining culture and heritage important in 2021?

Culture is very important. It’s our heritage. It’s important for us to know who we are, where we come from, it helps us understand why we are where we are. I’m very passionate about conserving our languages, and my music promotes that. Yes there are things that can be changed that don’t work for this generation, like ukuthwala, so there is good and bad in our culture. Let’s promote the good and get rid of the bad.

Dumza Maswana. Image: Supplied.
Dumza Maswana. Image: Supplied.

Do you prefer Kwaito or amapiano?

Give me Kwaito any day

St Black is crucial especially when you still see Black families in a restaurants speaking only English, Dumza’s lyrical prowess, wide vocal range makes this Sama nominee crucial if we insist that we are Black and Proud.

Sunday World

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