Muzi, also known as “The Zulu Skywalker” is one of the most revered and talked about musicians coming out of South Africa today. But the love doesn’t stop at the South African border with co-signs from artists such as Chris Martin of Coldplay, Black Coffee, Damon Albarn, Stormzy, Diplo, and more as well as regular features in leading music publications such as Noisey, Afropunk, Okay Africa, Mixmag, and Complex. Muzi’s is one of the first names that come to mind when thinking about modern African music today. As one of the first artists to join forces with Audible Reality, creating his own custom 3D audio Vibe, he’s also one of the first names that comes to mind in our world of immersive, personalized audio experiences.
But Muzi’s journey started long before his appearances on the world stage. The proudly Zulu artist hails from a township in Empangeni, some 140km north of Durban. In addition to its rolling hills and coastal plain, it is also where Muzi first start to conceive of his place in music. Bolstered by the support of his late mother (who inspired, unsurprisingly, his most recent release – the Mama EP), and soaking up the sounds of the time, there is no doubt that his roots play a significant role in the music he makes. He expertly blends together the influence of cutting edge urban and electronic music with local genres like Maskandi, Kwaito, Iscathamiya, and Bubblegum Pop of the 80’s and 90’s. Like the title of his hugely successful second album, Afrovision, Muzi has a keen sense of self, and the effect he wants his music to have on his listeners.
Speaking to journalist Binwe Adebayo in an interview for London’s Nataal Magazine, Muzi shared “when I’m in the studio, or i’m going to through my weeks of just being fully creative, I’m just thinking about the music. I’m listening to things over and I know when I start to feel uplifted by it, then i’ve got it right, and my listener is going to feel uplifted too. That’s really what I want.”
And he’s managed to do just that. MUZI is one of those artists who is truly global. In South Africa, he is welcomed as a headliner at various events, including festivals Rocking The Daisies and Oppikoppi. But he is also well-loved in many other countries having rocked the Brooklyn and Paris editions of Afropunk Festival (the latter of which caused Chris Martin to exclaim “that’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen.”) as well as having to turn away 500+ people from his over-capacity headlining Vice party at Berlin’s Monarch.
There’s no doubt that MUZI is a musician’s musician; extremely hardworking, focused on the big picture, and entirely uncompromising when it comes to his sound. Even for those fans who have seen him perform multiple times, no two sets sound the same. A kind of musical mad scientist – he is equal parts skill and intuition. And the response is never lukewarm. In his piece “We Need to Talk About MUZI” for UKF, Dave Jenkins shares “the best electronic music happens between the genres. Sonic ships that pass in the night, rubbing up against each other, spawning whole new genres… Progress is made, new precedents are set… MUZI is turbo charged by fusion and is on a mission to introduce the world to traditional African music through the medium of bass.”
Click here to download MUZI’s “A Day In Paris” Vibe now!