There’s no stopping Zandie Khumalo as she sets out to stake her claim in the local music scene. The younger sister of vocalist Kelly Khumalo, Zandie steps out of the shadows and shows her fans what she is made of on ‘Izikhali ZamaNtungwa’ her debut Afrosoul album. It literally means ‘Weapons of the maNtungwa’ and is inspired by her clan name. Her heritage and identity are close to her heart, and as an Afrosoul singer keeping it real and soulful are part of the deal.
First out of the blocks of the 13 track album is ‘Nangu Makoti’ anchored in the rich traditional rhythms inspired by the traditional wedding songs. It’s a fun simple and uplifting sing along song with infectious celebratory beats. The song is accompanied by a beautifully shot video that explodes in colour and dance.
The rousing single ‘Nami Ngiyalifuna’, a love song dedicated to the singles wishing to find love one day. It is produced by Mojalefa ‘Mjakes’ Thebe who co-wrote it with Zandie. Love is a golden thread that runs through Izikhali ZamaNtungwa, as Zandie puts it: ‘I sing about the simplicity of love. The little things that we women pay attention to, the phone calls until 3am, flowers, holidays and those kind of treats. We love being put up as a profile picture on whatsapp or declared Woman Crush Wednesday (#WCW).’
‘Ungenzani’ doesn’t stray from the theme. It’s another celebration of love as a woman shares her innermost feelings and thoughts about how their loved one makes them feel. It’s a declaration of the deep emotions that are brought about by being in love and being loved.
Zandie takes a trip on the exotic side as she experiments with a Portuguese song in ‘Fiesta’ and the results are nothing short of spectacular. Not only does she sound good as she seductively sings about the superhero man of her dreams, but the different flavour it adds to the album and gives ‘Izikhali ZamaNtungwa’ an edge and a different appeal.
Zandie was born in Thokoza, East Rand but grew up in Nquthu, KwaZulu-Natal before returning back to Gauteng where she moved around places such as Graceland in Brakpan, Vosloorus, Spruitview and Alberton. This nomadic life prepared her for later in life as she managed to understand people easy and adapt to change fast. The experience also made it easy for her to straddle the vastly different worlds of modest rural KwaZulu-Natal, the vibrancy of a township and the sophistication of city life – all these elements influence her music and the subjects she touches on.
After toiling for years as her sister’s stylist, backing vocalist and manager and much persuasion from her husband and Kelly, Zandie stepped into the recording studio to record for leisure. ‘I thought I was just singing and recording for myself, but a beautiful song came out of it called Themba which was my first single in 2016. It went to radio and I never looked back since then.
She released other songs like Soze and Bittersweet which got the industry to sit up and notice her talent.
Now with the prospects on an upward trajectory, Zandie’s eyes are fixed on the prize. ‘I just hope this album gets me where I want to be and for people to know who I am and what I can offer. I dream of being on big stages overseas with the biggest names ever.’
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