Elle Magazine Bongi Mvuyana her as one of 2014's people to watch and A.K.A has expressed great interest in working with her in the near future. ZAlebs has developed an interest in this budding star who is also causing quite the stir on radio airwaves with her new single Gold. We have a chat with the soul singer as she takes us on her musical journey.
(Credit: Facebook/ Bongi Mvuyana)
In your biography you speak very passionately about creating authentic music that not only tells stories but also makes people think. What’s your take on commercial music that plays on radio nowadays?
I really feel like the music that’s played on the radio nowadays lacks substance more than ever. And unfortunately we do not have enough musicians who vocalise the importance of creating something substantial and something listeners can actually relate to in their music. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for all types of music. If you’re in a club you’ll obviously have music that speaks about popping champagne and spending money but is it really what music should always be about? It’s rather unfortunate that a lot of mainstream music, currently, lacks any form of social message that will either make us think or question what is occurring in our society.
So do you think we’ll ever go back to a time when music had substance?
I think we could go back, if we as musicians stand firm in actually giving people music that means something and if we always have in mind the idea of musicianship and constantly staying true to our craft. If that's the case, then yes, we definitely can start influencing more musicians. It’s something that not one artist can change; it’s a giant of a problem that needs more than a handful of musicians to tackle and change.
Back in high school you had a band called Stereo Night School. What’s was the first song you guys wrote as a band?
Stereo Night School was actually formed in early 2012 and I remember we wrote this song called…wow… we wrote so many songs that I can’t even remember our first one. But anyway, the manner in which we wrote a song involved us just jamming all night long until a tune was birthed from whatever random music we were playing.
(Bongi couldn’t remember the title of the song so we requested that she sing it to us. This is how it sounded like)
We heard through the grapevine that your love for music was really sparked by another musican – Maxwell. Did you go to his concert and your thoughts about his performance?
YES! I did attend his concert and I was just in awe all the time. My record label actually took me to the concert because they knew how much Maxwell meant to my career and just the admiration and respect I have for him. Like I’ve just mentioned, being there I was just in constant awe of the entire concert, musically I’ve always considered him to be amongst the best that ever did it. There was a point where he was performing Woman’s work and a friend of mine told me that he didn’t even need to ask me how I was feeling at that moment because my face just said it all.
What frame of mind were you in when you wrote your single Gold?
That song actually started with my pianist. He was just playing around with some few keys, I stopped him immediately and asked what he was playing and as soon as he continued with the song I just began writing the lyrics to the melody. When I hear a piece of music that gets that kind of reaction from me I immediately get into this songwriting trance. I can’t really explain it but my body just starts getting hot and I begin to get these ideas and images in my head. That song, more than anything evoked a memory rather than an emotion of a previous heartache that I had experienced and that’s what I then started writing about.
As a new artist you’ve been receiving a lot of praise from the media and other respective artists. Do these comments intimidate you in living up to people’s expectations?
It isn't intimidating at all. It just tells me that the musical values that I have right now are definitely working to my advantage and that people are receiving my music well. My intention was for people to relate and get a great musical experience from my music, so what everybody is saying right now is a affirmation that I'm on the right track.
Do you think Bongi has a point about Mainstream music? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below!