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Thandiswa Mazwai's new songs of freedom

2016-11-27 06:01

Thandiswa Mazwai: Belede

I must state upfront that I am a huge Thandiswa Mazwai fan, and was excited when her new album was announced. I was even more excited to hear that Belede, named after her mother, is a jazz album, because that genre has always seemed like the perfect one for Mazwai, and thank goodness the legendary Hugh Masekela suggested an album of covers to her years ago. 

The result is a nine-track work of goodness – beautiful arrangements and King Tha’s distinct voice. 

Belede is an ode to some of the greats – Miriam Makeba, Masekela, her bestie and the late great Busi Mhlongo – and her reimagining songs such as Makubenjalo, Jikijela, West Wind, Wakrazulwa, Malaika and Nontsokolo

My favourite is Wakrazulwa – a song Mhlongo sang with such emotion and rawness, and featured on her last album titled Amakholwa, and a song Mazwai has performed on stage. 

Mazwai’s version of Wakrazulwa is another favourite, along with Makubenjalo (a timely update of this hymn). 

Belede is a beautiful body of work from an incredible voice, worth your time and money. I can’t wait to see her performing these new covers on the festival stage scene.

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