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Angelic Sounds – Review of Msaki’s ‘Zanelisa: How the Water Moves’

Asanda ‘Msaki’ Mvana’s new offering is a lyrically strong and musically endearing album. The album offers a stunning musical experience

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I recently made an unexpected realisation that listening to music in a dark room with nothing but sound breaking the deafening silence of that very darkness; may be one of the most spiritually-uplifting experiences. It sounds creepy, I know! But that’s exactly what happens when you pair the right music with the right moment, under the right circumstances.

Asanda Msaki Mvana Album Review

Asanda ‘Msaki’ Mvana – Image sourced from Facebook/MsakiMvana

The sound that ushered me into what I can only describe as a melodic trance, came courtesy of Eastern-Cape born artist, Asanda ‘Msaki’ Mvana whose latest offering completely blew me away. I’m saying it now; we can expect nothing but great things from this artist. So, jot down this name because this is only but the beginning of a great journey for Msaki.

Msaki Zanelisa Album Cover

Zanelisa: How the Water Moves Album Cover Art – Image sourced from emusic.com

This twelve-track offering, titled Zanelisa: How the Water Moves, is independently produced by Msaki, who hails from the Eastern Cape town of East London. Music so stunningly created, it makes the adjective ‘wonderful’ and all related synonyms feel like utter understatements to capture Msaki’s voice and lyrical prowess. Not always boxed within one genre as one listens from one song to the next, this album is a clear indication of a shaping of a new sound carved by this emerging South African musician. A sound that delicately incorporates contemporary South African jazz, some afro-soul, blues, and a hint of classical influences hard to miss, and very easy to appreciate. From the tracklist below, I have decided to specifically highlight three of my absolute favourites.

  1. Dreams
  2. Gibel’ Inkwenkwezi ft Umle
  3. limfama Ziyabona
  4. Chasing Sons
  5. Weight … For the war
  6. Liwa Lentliziyo
  7. Golden – 2nd Movement
  8. Smiling at the Moon tripping over bass drums ft Umle
  9. Dear Youth
  10. Nal’ithemba – (Harboring Hope)
  11. Ulwandle Lutshile
  12. Selah

Weight (For the War)

If you’re a fan of unexpected twists, this song is the perfect choice to give you that brief thrill while strongly capturing your emotions. The piece showers you with layer after layer of sound that paints such a captivating mental image, it always leaves me feeling like an audience of one in an intimate theatre setting wherein a story about love, loss and war is being artistically narrated to me through sound. Msaki’s elegant code switching between English and her mother tongue, isiXhosa, gives the song an artistic edge worth mentioning. It is, however, the purity and sincerity in her voice and the depth of the lyrical content that makes this song nothing short of a masterpiece. An uncontested favourite of mine!

Imfama Ziyabona
This track has such a feel-good element to it, one can’t help but snap and tap to the rhythm. A solid bassline infused with lovely guitar strings had me silently moving throughout the entire 3 minutes and 30 seconds of the song.

Expressing her love to someone, I would imagine that this track will resonate with happily involved individuals, as well as singletons such as myself because it celebrates love in its most honest form. It is probably worth mentioning that the song features a few repeated bars of humming which, for some reason, make me love the track all the more.

Liwa Lentliziyo

I was initially introduced to this track through an acoustic live performance of the song on YouTube, and was instantly captivated by the stripped and simplistic essence of the piece. This song is one of many on the album that I’ve decided to label a ‘lyrical show-off’ (the track ‘Dreams’ tops the list) where Msaki pulls my heartstrings when she launches into a high-pitched voice while delivering the last verse before the hook – absolutely stunning!

Like with any music, this album may not resonate with everyone but it offers some of the best vocal performances I’ve heard in a while. Often compared to the likes of Tracey Chapman and Joan Amatrading, Msaki’s music is soul-nurturing and demands one’s full emotional engagement – something I often look out for in music. Described by its producers as, “an album about loss, hope and the wave-like rhythms in between those two states of being,” this album is a definite must-have, and would make for an awesome gift this Easter season.

Have you listened to some of the tracks on the album? Share your favourites and tell us why; we’d love to know!

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to land on Disney+ in February

Welcome to Wakanda!

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Black Panther Wakanda Forever

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are in for a treat. Disney+ has announced that 1 February marks the arrival of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The blockbuster will be joining 16 other on the streaming platform.

ABOUT THE MOVIE

Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death.

As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Introducing Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor, ruler of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livinalli.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige and Nate Moore, is now playing in theaters. 

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Music

The Shocking Fallout of Black Motion

Tensions have reportedly escalated.

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They are one of South Africa’s most revered music duos.

Their discography packs both blockbuster club bangers and lush delights for lovers of House with a transcendental African sonic flair. And the explosive fallout of Black Motion, which has been splashed across the internet long before reaching the courts, has shocked many.

Loved for their electrifying live performances and awe-inspiring chemistry, Mörda and Smol have always seemed like musical soulmates. But that relationship seems to have reached a bitter end.

In 2022, rumours of their reported split triggered a frenzy on the internet. Following the uproar, the group’s members Bongani Mohosana, who now goes as Mörda, and Smol (real name Roy Thabo Mabogwane), jointly calmed fears that they had fallen out.

It had been said the break would be temporary, as Mörda moved to focus on the release of his solo studio album.

Far from it, it now seems. The parties have escalated things to court.

According to reports, Black Motions have confirmed that they had pressed charges against Mörda for alleged housebreaking and theft.

A court order by the High Court in Gauteng posted on social media has ordered Morda to “restore possession of a recording studio apparatus” to the group by 13 January, at 5pm. 

Black Motion shared snaps of the alleged damage caused by Morda – a broken door and stolen equipment.

 

It looks like we won’t be getting a new Black Motion album with Mörda anytime soon.

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Reality Shows

Inside the Big Brother Titans Premiere!

South Africa and Nigeria unite under Biggie’s roof.

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Sunday, 15 February 2023, marks the roaring arrival of BBTitans.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW.

The highly anticipated social experiment brings under Biggie’s roof housemates from both South Africa and Nigeria. And for 72 days, we will be splashed with the finest in South African and Nigerian swag, banter, romance and all the trappings of a fun-filled, dramatic and – we’d hope – an entertaining show.

A first of its kind, the social experiment assembles the most colourful personalities from the two nations to outwit, outplay and outsmart each other in a bid to get their hands on a massive bag, life-changing bag!

In addition to a number of lofty prizes that will likely be on the line throughout the season, the winner of the show will also be walking away, a whopping grand prize of US $100 000 (over R1,7 million) is up for grabs for the one who trounces his Housemates to charm audiences across the continent.

That’s not all; the amount of social capital, celebrity and opportunities for lucrative brand deals after the show, all form part of the career-launching lift-off that comes with being on the popular franchise.

Both Big Brother Mzansi host Lawrence Maleka and Big Brother Naija’s Ebuka Obi-Uchendu will co-host this debut season.

Fans of Big Brother Mzansi and Big Brother Naija in the diaspora are not left out as Showmax will stream the show in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and about 50 other countries.

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