The first thing he says when we tell him we are definitely crushing on him and would like to get to know him better is that he is just a musician and not “iCrush yabantu”. So stand guided, he is officially iCrush yabantu. His sense of humour is unmatched, not to mention his humility. It’s hard not to chuckle at every second sentence of his. What comes to mind when you mention Vusa Mkhaya (Born Vusumuzi Mkhaya Ndlovu) is his beautiful music as a solo artist and his offering in the award winning musical trio, Insingizi. If ever you’ve thought of Imbube going global, then you’d know Vusa Mkhaya has been on the forefront of “Imbube to the world”. All it takes is one track to fall in love with his soulful voice. His albums, The Spirit of Ubuntu, Vocalism and Manyanyatha give so much soul and so much more stil. A premium offering of the Imbube genre.
I can´t say I walked away from Zimbabwe because I am still a part of the Zimbabwean story and the Arts and culture scene. We started touring in the mid 90s and then decided to study music in Austria and also practice our craft from there. .
My love story with imbube goes back to the late 80s when I started singing in the scripture union choir at school and then formed my own imbube group whilst still there. I then joined insingizi to do it professionally in 1991.
The imbube sound has been well received in the diaspora because it´s different from the sounds most people are used to hearing. One mistake some of our artists make is to change their sound trying to fit in, instead of staying true to who they are and doing what they know best.
I am always in Zimbabwe and I work a lot with artists in Zimbabwe. That´s why I said “I can´t say I walked away” from Zimbabwe. I think that at this stage, I can practice my craft whereever I want even if I “move back” to Zimbabwe and I am grateful for that.
It was not easy for most of us especially touring artists. This was my first time to be in one place for almost 10 months in the last 15 years. I used the time to learn a lot of studio technics, vocal capturing, mixing etc. I also had time to write a lot of music and create new concepts and ideas.
I am excited to be out there and performing. Interacting with people, discovering new places, towns, cities. Sampling food and making new friends on the road. Meeting fans who waited for 10 plus months for us to get back on stage.
It has been hard but I am grateful for all the lessons learnt along the way. There were times I doubted myself but I managed to lift myself up and keep walking. Music Business is not for the faint hearted. People see the glitz and the glamour from artists onstage and on social media but they don´t know, behind all that there is hard work, blood, sweat and tears.
I have worked with a lot of young musicians and I am yet to work with more. I don´t have a list but if any artist approaches me and the vibe is correct we work.
I think people can support local by helping artists grow their brands. We all cannot like the same art or vibe to the same music but we can share and help the artists grow their organic fan base and brands by retweeting their posts, sharing their links, flyers for events etc. It´s not about money all the time.
You said it well. I like to keep my private life private so nxa lithungisa zithungiseleni ngoba lifuna ukuthungisa not because of me☺ (if you want to get an outfit made, do it because you want to not because of me)
Photography, reading and writing music for other artists. I also collect Art
I think I should leave comedy to comedians. I don´t think I am funny, kodwa I might convert my #Sdindibars to some interesting project one day.
By: Thandie Nyoni