“A warm hug” is how soulful musician Musa Sukwene described his latest self-titled 12-track album, which came out earlier this month.
Speaking to the Daily Dispatch while on a promotional tour in East London this week, Musa said his self-produced album was a culmination of his five-year journey, and maturity, in music.
Musa is his third release, and the first solo project he has embarked on since he won Idols SA season nine in 2013.
“It reflects the process I had to go through, learning and leaning on everything that was around me,” he said.
“I describe it as a warm hug because it is there to keep you warm from the heart and soul.
“The pressure of putting it together in four months was amazing because I can say being under pressure allowed me to experience myself differently.”
Musa said the featured three poets with whom he collaborated were legendary Tsepo Tshola, Ntsika, of The Soil, and gospel sensation Dr Tumi.
“One of the proudest moments of this album was working with bab’ Tsepo Tshola.
“Sitting in studio with someone who’s been in the industry for 48 years but can lower themselves to your standard and allow themselves to collaborate with you was quite amazing,” he said.
Reflecting on his life without his multi-award winning mentor and friend Robbie Malinga, Musa said it had been “a bittersweet situation”.
“Him being here taught me a lot, but him not being here has also taught me a lot.
“Having him as a part of my life holistically changed me. I come from a place where everything was done for me, so having to now sit in a studio having to make sure I take care of myself got me to this point.”
The afro-soul singer said love was the central theme of his music.
Musa’s second album Mr Serious, sold more than 100,000 copies and earned him the Best African Pop Metro Fm Award in 2017.
“Every time I write, I do it from a place of love. I believe that love is the best thing that can warm you up from within in any situation because while hate is learned, love is something that you are born with.
“I truly believe that it is the only key to anything in this life.”
He said he was grateful to have overcome the stigma attached to Idols winners’ often unsuccessful ventures in the music industry.
“I can describe my journey as amazing because I’ve had to live through the ups and the downs. I’m still here.
“I don’t know what causes this stigma and the only thing I can do is be grateful I managed to move away from what we’ve become known for.
“It’s been great to see how well my work has been received and the way people live within my music,” Musa said.