Muzi | South Africa’s Singular Star

Insights on the artist's new intimate project

Written by

Leslie Jensen

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South African producer, vocalist, and all-around creative Muzi has dazzled with his latest album, uMUZI. Out now on Fool's Gold Records, uMUZI is a flawless blend of rich Afrohouse rhythms and retro synth-pop tones. Spanning 13 tracks and arriving with a trio of music videos directed by Muzi himself, the album is a captivating autobiographical audio-visual collection. Diving into the nostalgia and intimacy that drives uMUZI, we spoke with Muzi about his new album, the inspirations behind it, and his awe-inspiring collaboration with Chris Martin. 

What is the story behind your new album, uMUZI?

It’s about the journey of parenthood. It’s about the relationship I have with my parents and the relationship I have with my daughter. 

How does uMUZI compare to your previous albums?

I speak about my father quite a bit on this one. That's never been a subject matter I liked talking about often, but in my maturing as a human being, I've found a lot of peace. It's probably my most personal project yet because it’s the whole story, not just parts that I like.

What do you hope listeners take away from the new album?

That it’s okay to talk about things that bother us.

'Queen' is an incredible collaboration with Coldplay's Chris Martin. Can you tell us about your relationship with Martin and how 'Queen' came together?

Queen came together on iMessage haha. I had the idea for it and I kept hearing his voice on the song. Hit him up and he did it. Our relationship has been a very dope one just because it's been mutually respectful, personally and artistically. But most importantly, it's been kind.

Can you tell us about the influences behind the album, other artists, seminal tracks or albums? 

Brenda fassie, Paul Ndlovu, Sipho ‘hotstix’ Mabuse, Steve Kekana, Daft Punk.

When and where was the album created? What have you learned about yourself through the creation of this LP?

Most of it was made in South Africa, with some ideas made in Dubai and the US whilst I was on tour. I’ve learned that I can be very intentional with the art, letting it lead me to where I need to go next, fearlessly.

This is your first release with Fool’s Gold, can you tell us about how your connection to the label came about?

Matthew Law told A-Trak about me and they hit us up to possibly working together and the rest is history.

In addition to being a musician, you also direct your own music videos. What was your vision for the uMUZI music videos? 

I wanted to film black people just being. I didn't want to dress it up or anything like that. I just wanted stunning visuals of daily normal life.

You have designed some of your own clothing in the past. How has fashion played a role in your artistry?

It's just another way of expressing myself and what I'm into, which is usually simplicity.

What’s next for Muzi?

Continuing to shine the light on our identity and heritage by honestly expressing myself.

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