Voice coach Dlamini lets her own song be heard


An Eastern Cape-born music lecturer and vocal coach, who has contributed to the music education of some of SA’s biggest artists, has released a single titled iLali.
Xolisa Dlamini, 48, has shaped the careers of internationally acclaimed Mthatha-raised artists Black Coffee, Mondli Ngcobo, Zakes Bantwini and Nduduzo Makhathini, among others.
She dropped iLali on Friday.
The single will feature on her third studio album, Fire Born which is set to drop in August as a celebration of Women’s Month.
Dlamini, who was born in the remote village of Rode in eMaxesibeni, is regarded as a veteran in musical theatre and education in SA. She has shared her knowledge as a music lecturer at the Durban University of Technology.
“iLali is a song that is influenced by the village sound. iLali means village and I was born in a village. The song talks about someone who is unfamiliar with a village and has not introduced themselves correctly to the people of the village.
“As a result, the people don’t know how to address the person. When you get into a space you don’t act as if you know the place, you first introduce yourself and make sure you are comfortable and that people are comfortable with you.”
Dlamini’s former student Makhathini, a notable South African jazz musician, has produced the single, as well as the upcoming 10-track album.
“Nduduzo came up with the music for this single and I came up with the melody and the rhythm.”
She said the work on her album was done in the Eastern Cape. “My younger brother is a poet and to my surprise when he joined me in studio, he had a beautiful poem titled Fire Born. The title resonated with me as it speaks about my life and my experiences as a woman of the Eastern Cape,” she said.
The seasoned musician’s two albums have received widespread national recognition and award nominations.
Her first album, Times, received nominations for best contemporary album and best female composer at the South African Music Awards.
Her second album, Afro Blue, was nominated for best contemporary jazz album at the Metro FM Awards in 2010.
Dlamini said she takes pride in producing well thought-out music for her audience.
“I am a person who is always on my toes. I bring fresh sounds but I am very traditional when it comes to music. When I go on stage it’s a new page every time. I make sure I bring the energy to my audience because I know that music is educational.
“I take my craft and audience seriously.”
Dlamini describes her music as a traditional African sound that all can relate to.
Her passion for music and storytelling began at a young age when she experienced visions and life-changing challenges in her life.
“As a young child growing up in a village I knew my calling was in music. I had visions and could see myself as a musician.
“I knew it was not normal, but it was an honour to answer that call to the life of music.”..

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