When it comes to style and sound, Muzi is the perfect example of multifaceted talent. From music to fashion and everything in between, Muzi proves to be the artist to keep an eye on. In anticipation with his album uMuzi out in October, the South African phenomenon released two more singles last week: “Light“ and “Milk & Honey,” following the smoothly groovy track earlier this year “Emtunizini.”
Muzi brings culture and melody to a new level offering catchy beats and fun lyrics that no matter what genre of music you enjoy, Muzi offers something for everyone. Hailing from Empangeni (KwaZulu Natal, South africa), Muzi has made a statement in pop-culture collaborating with some of the finest artists of this era which include Kaytranada, Stormzy, Chris Martin and Damon Albarn of The Gorillaz. There’s no stopping at music, Muzi is also a fashion designer, filmmaker directing his music videos and also skateboards.
At the age of 13, Muzi evolved from homeless skater to beat maker becoming a vocalist, producer and brilliant artist delving into creating his journey towards success where he creates his own music, videos and artwork. He has caught the attention & support from Zane Lowe, The Fader, Complex and more. With his rise to the top, Muzi has built a noteworthy portfolio performing & dj’ing at Afropunk and Lightning In A Bottle in addition to being a fashion designer creating his own custom clothing. He has also collaborated with big brands such as Vans.
Muzi’s last album Interblaktic chronicles the artist leaving South Africa to explore his own artistry where he had the epiphany that coming home to connect with his late parents was part of the path to discovery. In the album, he also took on the role as the ‘Zulu Skywalker’ discovering a piece of himself that was always there in the back of his mind and always part of his heart.
Check out Frank151’s interview with Muzi below:
Can you share the aesthetic or theme for your upcoming album uMUZI? They are all from my childhood pictures and how i remember it. I wanted to film/shoot myself just being. Whether thats driving the same car my dad did in eMtunzini or being in the forest having fun on Light, they are all parts of me and my childhood and since this album is a self-titled one, i wanted the aesthetics to follow with that. Who i was then, Who i am now.
What’s one thing about the album that you feel will resonate with its listeners? The honesty of it. I think besides me just following where my creativity takes me, people resonate with my music cause i just tend to talk about my inner feelings and how i deal with them. Its therapeutic.
Marking your debut with the Fool’s Gold record label, how did the relationship with A-Trak happen? Did you know A-Trak before signing with Fool’s Gold? Shout outs to Matthew Law for the link up. I knew of A-Trak for years and FOOLS GOLD had always been on our list of dream labels to work with so when he hit me up on my IG, i was taken aback and immediately told John, my manager. A few months later i came through to the US for a tour i had, and thats when i met him and ended up playing at A-Trak and Friends at the Mirage in NYC. The relationship been growing since then.
Any dream collaborations you’d love to do with any other Fool’s Gold artists? Really wanna make some grimey beats for Vincent The Owl.
Anything you’d like to tease about the album? The visualizers are dope. If you ‘watch’ the album, all the videos connect really well.
Such beautiful visuals from the aerial shots to the location to the vintage/VHS-feel in your ‘eMtunzini’ music video. What was the story behind it and how did you come up with the concept? Thank you. I wanted to see what it was like for my dad back in the day when he was same age as me riding in his toyota cressida. So i thought it’d be cool to make a normal errand like driving somewhere, to look huge and otherworldly. Making the mundane/normal look extraordinary.
Does this music video tie into the larger body of work and narrative of the album? Yes it does. I wanted to see how i’d express myself if i had one more road trip with my parents, hence the car. I thought about the conversations we’d have and also it made me think even more about my own fatherhood. The car is where i heard all my early electronic music influences so its playing that character in a way.
Love that there’s some driving in the video because the song truly can be played on repeat on a road trip. Love the Toyota too! The location is beautiful. How hard was it getting those aerial shots while driving the car? We went to the woods and shot over a period of 5 days. The waking up at 4am to catch morning light was the hardest part i think. The aerial shots went super well because of my D.O.P, Sims Phakisi. Mans is just really good. So his skillset allowed us to have fun.
What made you decide to direct your own videos? I could never explain my idea well to someone else, so my friends and i just decided to try it one day and we just havent stopped. I think sometimes because i don’t know how to direct, in a professional/scholar sense , im able to play around more and follow less rules.
When creating visuals, how did you learn and get your start? I use to draw alot as a kid so i’ve always been interested in how images were put together. Shot my first ‘video’ on a Blackberry 5320. I just started because i couldn’t wait for someone else to want to film me. Also, i always ask people that are better than me in what im trying to learn, a lot of questions. And obviously youtube is a school.
Did you always have a love for working both behind the scenes and in front of the camera? I never wanted to be in front of the camera. I’m quite insular. The front of the camera thing happened out of curiosity i guess because it became important to me for other kids like me, that come from similar places/backgrounds, to see that a Zulu kid from rural KwaZulu Natal was doing dope shit around the world. Think it speaks to the beauty of how far ideas can take you, regardless of where you’re from or your circumstances.
Do you have any muses or anyone or anything that truly influences your style in creating art? I have quite a few influences. I love Brenda Fassie for her fearlessness. I love Missy Elliot for the boundary pushing. I love Daft Punk for being able to keep it about the music. I love Linkin Park for being able to talk about their pain and getting through it. I love ColdPlay for the amazing songwriting. I could go on and on.
Any genres you would love to explore in the future? I dont know, i just see it as one thing, music. Everytime i hear a new ‘genre’ my brain connects the dots with other genres and i see the common parts. That’s where i love to play/create. On the edge.
Who would be a dream collaboration from any genre of music? Missy elliot.
Your fashion style is on point and really artistic in a sense. Do you design your own clothing? Thank you. No, i dont design them. I think i’m just lucky to get things that fit me well.
For anyone discovering you as an artist, how would you describe yourself as an artist and your style of art? Afronowism.
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