It’s only been two years since Johannesburg singer, songwriter and musician LANGA MAVUSO burst onto the South African music scene with his critically acclaimed debut EP Liminal Sketches, but the way fans and critics alike have lamented the long wait for his highly anticipated sophomore project and self-titled debut album LANGA is testament, not just to his incredible talent and artistry, but also to how much Langa Mavuso has risen to become one of the most exciting R&B voices of South Africa in the past 24 months, revered for his glorious vocals, exquisite falsetto tones, captivating storytelling and vivid songwriting. He recently spoke to INTERVIEW MAGAZINE about the album and much more.
Released on September 25 via Platoon, Langa Mavuso unveils his LANGA album on the back of recent support from the likes of GQ, Pete Tong (BBC Radio 1), Red Bull Music, ELLE South Africa, and Deezer, who recently named him as their ‘NEXT Artist of 2020’. The album also comes on the back of two already well received singles this year – ‘Love Lost’, produced by FARR’s Linden Jay (Chloe x Halle, Lion Babe, Duke Dumont) and ‘Panther’ featuring exciting Xhosa rap artist Yanga Chief, which was produced by duo Noble, who recently worked with Beyoncé on her Grammy Award-winning album The Lion King: The Gift.
Alongside Linden Jay and Noble, who contribute two additional tracks on the project, the Langa album notably also comes with production from Langa Mavuso’s longtime collaborator Darren Blackensee, who produced his first hit ‘Sunday Blues’, Benjamin Zadok, Ndumiso Manana, and Grammy Award-nominated British producer and musician Maths Time Joy, who has previously worked with Mahalia, Bebe Rexha and Gallant. Further collaborations on Langa come from Aimee George on the exquisite R&B slow burner ‘Pretend’, Zoe Modiga and Manana on the soulful and life-affirming ‘I Wish’, and Loyiso on the heart wrenching power ballad ‘Intliziyo’.
Speaking about the inspiration behind his new album, Langa Mavuso says, “This album is inspired by heartbreak. This is me taking a moment to look in the mirror and reflect on self, through the journey of this heartbreak, and you’ll see three different phases of this journey play out throughout the album, with every four songs; in the beginning we reflect on the pain and upset caused by losing love, with this part of the album expressing the initial acceptance of a relationship ending. In the second part, we step into a more tumultuous part of the heartbreak; inspired by the sounds of nightclubs and a lifestyle that can be described as a distraction.
Most of the music in this second phase is me exploring a new version of myself and ultimately looking for love in all the wrong places in the attempt to avoid dealing with the pain, but this charade all ends with a song call ‘Pretend’, which shifts the album’s focus back to internal work and spiritual alignment. The final part of the album starts with me praying for salvation, and leads to me finally accepting that this love is lost. This album is the honest sharing of my heart and a candid journal of my journey back to myself after losing love. It will make you cry, dance and maybe even smile. This is the window into my life through love”.
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