‘Zahara sang her way into my heart'- Kirk Whalum

2017-10-18 12:39
PIC: Raj Naik

You know you’ve got chops when legendary US saxophonist Kirk Whalum is enamoured with your voice. Kirk stepped into the studio with our very own songbird, Zahara, while in the country.

“Man, I’m still buzzing from the Zahara experience,” Kirk says. “She hit me like a giant hug and a tonne of bricks at the same time. She just sang her way right into my heart. She opened her mouth and this thing came out that I’ve never heard before. Maybe I’m sheltered but I’ve never heard that before.

“It’s her simple roots and ability to tell stories. I’m a big India.Arie fan. She reminds me of India in that sense, not so much musically.”

The collaboration was organised by Kirk’s business partner, Ajani Sandridge, and it resulted in two songs, Umfazi and Ina Mvula. Both songs are on Zahara’s latest album, Mgodi, which dropped last week and received gold status within hours of its release.

“I’ve never seen any musician as humble as that man [Kirk Whalum],” says Mjakes Thebe, who produced Zahara’s album. “Imagine a great musician like Kirk who’s worked with a whole host of titans, including Whitney Houston, allowing me to produce on those tunes. It was really special. Before he even played he would pray and even pray for Zahara. For me it was a great experience. It humbled me.”

Upon hearing of her album’s gold status Zahara says she was very happy. “All I ever wanted to do is make music. That’s why I‘ve always tried to tell my story through my albums.”

By Mpho Tshikudo


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