Creators come in different forms and shapes to birth ideas into products and services. Singing is a god-given talent that many people today earn a living through this form of craft. It’s a highly competitive industry, many individuals have made a name for themselves here while others tried and failed.
The South African music scene continues to innovate influenced hugely by the young generation of artists coming up with unconventional sounds. Zulu Government is one such upcoming musician that blends traditional Zulu maskandi with hip-hop to produce a unique genre. Listening to his sample Vosloo 4am, I couldn’t help but pick up a Sjava influence…
Below Zulu Government shares his journey to creating the upcoming album titled INKOMFA (conference)…enjoy the read:
Introduce yourself and the title of your album?
Hello, my name is Thanda Magubane, I am a musical artist who fuses maskandi sounds with rap that uniquely tell African stories to a millennial audience. I am also a music producer and artist. Hail from the small town of Nkandla in KwaZulu Natal.
Share with us what inspired the production of this album?
My music is inspired by what is happening right now. It’s urban sounds influenced by traditional music like mbaqanga and maskandi.
Any featured artists on this album, if yes…who and why?
I’ve teamed up with Big Zulu on the first single of the album. Big Zulu in South African music represents the culture of both worlds namely, rap and maskandi music. In my opinion, he is the definition of futurism and for him to partner and take a chance with an upcoming artist such as myself has been a truly humbling experience. Has allowed me to showcase my sounds to an audience I would not have had exposure to previously.
How many songs make up the album?
The album has 15 tracks on the album.
What formula do you use to select the title of your album?
I am sustaining a theme in my music. My stage name is Zulu Government, so my first album was Inauguration which is available on SoundCloud, this album saw my ‘inauguration’ in the music industry (like any government needs to be inaugurated to come into power). This album is called INKOMFA which is the conference I’m chairing touching on more social issues.
How long was the album in production?
It took me and my producer like 11 months to create the songs.
Share with us your marketing strategy once the album was released to ensure that sales skyrocketed?
For me, it meant including a combination of PR, paid for advertising in the digital space and being active on social media. I receive strategic social media advisory from my PR team which has been working great.
Since the album was released, how many copies have been sold?
I haven’t released the album as yet officially though we are releasing songs off the album for now.
Who do you credit for the production of this album?
I’ve worked with Kiid Blunt on the entire album.
What accolades if any has this album received?
None as the album hasn’t been released yet.
As an artist, how do you stay in demand with such fierce competition in this industry?
I think that the best way to do this is to remain true to yourself whilst still remaining current.
What is your honest opinion about the 360-degree contract?
I don’t think it’s wise for an artist to have that type of deal it’s draining but, if you have an opportunity and you can’t be hungry anymore you should sign so, only if there is no other alternative and you believe strongly in your dream. Me personally, I’m not keen.
International artists capitalise on their fame to build multiple revenue streams to safeguard their future…what are you doing to protect yours?
I have a full-time day job and am hoping to release my own merch etc. once my star rises. Being a creative means that you must explore other avenues of creativity to build your empire and keep the fans happy. Take Kanye West, for example, he is great at his main job which is music though he is also heavily involved in art and fashion. This also demonstrates that he’s a real artist, whether you like him or not, that’s the truth!