26 Jun Langa Mavuso: Destined to make history

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Self-assured and brimming with talent, Langa Mavuso is delivering the new soul sound that has a nation enamoured from the first notes. On his breakout single “Sunday Blues”, Langa displays a maturity and depth reserved for industry veterans. Without faltering, this talented young artist continues along a path that has seen him signed to Black Coffee’s own Soulistic Music record label.

 

A true artist to the core; get to know the man behind the music: Langa Mavuso.

 

Words: Tshiamo Seape

 

Photo: Jonathan Feriera

The first time we spoke you mentioned that you were out of the country. Are you working
at the moment or was it more of a vacation?

I have a three-week business trip to London for the purpose of cross-continental expansion. It
will be a slow process (by choice) of partnering with musicians and agents here to share the
music I make with the world. I’m currently working on my debut album so the prospects of
having it released in other parts of the world is quite exciting. This is really been the purpose
and agenda of the trip.

 

Even a casual look at your social pages, music videos and live shows you come across
as a very self-assured person and a very confident performer – where do you get that
from?

Thank you, I began my art education in high school at the National School of the Arts, which
meant I attended school with kids who were exceptionally talented and extremely unique. This
meant I had to find a confidence and distinguishing thing in myself to help the gift in me shine
and not be drowned out in a space of beautiful chaos. I try to be as authentic as possible so I
think the confidence is also just a part of who I am.

 

I was watching the “Home” video which is very subtle yet striking. Who came up with the
concept of the video and how did you get in touch with Manthe?

Home is a song I wrote with a beautiful friend of mine, Zoe Modiga. The song tells a very
straight story about the betrayal of love through infidelity. The concept was created by myself
and Legend Manqele of Barleader TV. We wanted to capture the feeling of loss and self-realisation
in the video. Manthe is someone I’ve known for a couple years now through the
industry. I’ve always revered her talent and I asked to be a part of the video to embody the
emotion. It’s darkness as well as it’s awakening. I contacted her a couple days before the shoot
and she was kind enough to make time for me and come on to the project.

 


Can we expect any further collaborations between you two?

She’s currently touring the world and I’m so happy for the love she’s been receiving. I would a
collaboration with her again. In something that would be multi-disciplinary between performance
art and music. We’ll see what we can create when time permits.

 

The Black Coffee co-sign is well documented but as your star rises I’m curious about any
other artists who have come out as fans of yours?

I’ve seen an amazing amount of support in and out of the industry. I think some surprising
supporters were people like Simphiwe Dana, Dineo Ranaka, The Soil, Pearl Modiade and
number others that I can’t recall right now but the responses have been so encouraging and
heart-warming.

 

What’s the best piece of industry advice you’ve ever received?

Stay true to who you are and that was from a label exec at a major here in London
Sunday Blues is one of your most recognisable tracks so I’d like to hear the story of how
you wrote and recorded it.

 

Photo: Nick Boulton

 

Sunday Blues is one of your most recognisable tracks so I’d like to hear the story of how
you wrote and recorded it.
I wrote the song while I was in university. It was on a Sunday morning and I felt incredibly
distant from the person I was sharing my life with then even when they were physically present
and I wrote about it and how I was yearning to see them become more present and aware of the
moments we had together. I first shared via Instagram after a terrible day at the nine to five I
was working at then and when the response became so overwhelming I decided to record the
song and share it on Soundcloud. I later removed that version and recorded three other
versions of the song. One overly changed, the second was a full jazz band arranged version
and the last was just me, piano and strings. The latter became the official single released. The
simplicity of it allowed for the message and voice to shine.

 

When you feel like taking it easy, what does your perfect Sunday look like?
A big couch, loud sound system, rain and lots of it accompanied with a warm drink.
What songs are on heavy rotation for you right now?

 

What songs are on heavy rotation for you right now?
The music that is on heavy rotation in my playlists currently is
Leon – Somebody
Muzi – Kini
PJ Morton – Claustrophobic
Maddison Ryan Ward – Mirror
And wait for it
Khabonina – Wax on Wax off

 

 

Music beefs are stealing the headlines at the moment. Is that form of competition
something you subscribe to? How do you test yourself against other artists?
Waste of time! I appreciate other great musicians. I’ll even go as far as publicly recommending them

 

What has surprised you the most about your stardom – within yourself or how other
people treat you?

People like saying things like “you’ve changed” almost like change is negative. I’m not working
so hard to stay the same. I think growth is a normal part of human evolution and it’s almost
always the people who resurface from nowhere who say this so I’m not surprised. I think for
myself I’ve just become more aware of myself because every now and then people I don’t know
recognise me which is a bit of a trip.

 

To someone completely unfamiliar with who you are, how would you sell Langa Mavuso?
I would say Langa is a singer and songwriter who is destined for the music history books. He
captures love through sonic paintings that we call songs and music. A delicately warm and
exciting performer invested in positively contributing to the musical landscape of Africa and the
world.


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