A rare musical talent has risen from the rolling hills of Eshowe in Kwa-Zulu Natal and is set to take the World Music circuit by storm.
Mbuso Khoza, a vocalist and songwriter with a rich and unique sound, has come a long way since boarding a taxi to Johannesburg armed with R120 and a desire to meet his icon, late gospel legend Vuyo Mokoena.
As a young 22 year old musician arriving in Johannesburg in 2000, he braved many difficulties in the industry and worked consistently at his craft. This saw him building up a reputation for himself as a top back-up vocalist and songwriter. He also developed his sound by opening himself up to different types of musical influences.
He lists Salief Keita, Angelique Kidjo, Jabu Khanyile, and Sibongile Khumalo as some of the artists who have influenced his sound. His fine vocal skills have seen Khoza working as a backing vocalist for some of South Africa’s most sought after musicians, including Thandiswa Mazwai, Siphokazi, Sibongile Khumalo.
As an in-demand backing vocalist he has performed at stages across the world including France – where he performed in Cannes at a Miriam Makeba tribute concert. Other countries he has performed at include Portugal, Switzerland, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali and Senegal. In 2006 his distinctive sound caught the attention of iconic jazz pianist and composer Themba Mkhize, who featured him on two tracks on his album, “Hands On”.
Following the recording, Khoza’s profile continued to grow and in 2011 he began recording his solo album “Zilindile” which means “the nations are waiting” with Mkhize and renowned playwright Mbongeni Ngema. His album was produced by Mkhize’s Mavovo Music in conjunction with the KZN Music House – which funded the project. No stranger to difficult times, Mbuso has used his life experiences as a backdrop to his album. Having lost his mother at an early age under mysterious circumstances and having never met his father, his music has a therapeutic message for those who’ve had their fair share of life’s challenges.
In February 2012 Khoza launched his album Zilindile at a glittering event at Bassline, Johannesburg. His first single “Eshowe” named after his birthplace, is a mid-tempo, easy listening tune which talks of the challenges he has overcome. The album is a delicate mix of deep traditional Zulu music infused with Jazz elements – showcasing the true depth of his artistic and diverse talent displayed without constraint. The 12 track album is produced by KZN Jazz pianist and music director Nduduzo Makhathini was roped in to create Khoza’s unique sound. A spiritual man by nature, tracks such as “Ibusise” and “Zulu’elphuzulu” give thanks to his maker for blessing the works of his hands.
Khoza is excited about this new and exciting journey he has begun to share his music with the rest of the continent and world at large.
Radio stations including Kaya FM, Ukhozi FM, SAfm, Gagasi FM, Radio 2000, are playing Zilindile, which has been warmly received by listeners. In 2013 his album get a best contemporary jazz nomination at the Metro FM Awards.