The voice: Langa Mavuso

Langa Mavuso: Unpacking the not-so-rosy side of romance. 
Photo: Jonathan Ferreira

Langa Mavuso: Unpacking the not-so-rosy side of romance. 
Photo: Jonathan Ferreira

Singer and songwriter

The soulful crooner and songwriter we all deserve, Langa Mavuso is Jo’burg-based and was raised with music all around him. Growing up, his parents participated in numerous choir competitions.

Despite that and Langa having convinced his parents to send him to the National School of the Arts — where he studied contemporary music — Mavuso decided to pursue a career in politics. He obtained a BA in politics and economics at the university currently known as Rhodes.

Unable to ward off the proverbial music bug, Mavuso took on music as an elective until he eventually succumbed to the temptations of a musical career. He then studied jazz performance at the University of Cape Town’s school of music.

Following the release of his debut six-track EP Liminal Sketches in 2016, Mavuso solidified his presence in the South African music landscape with his soul-stirring EP Home.

Work and meaning

Demonstrating great control and a maturity surpassing his 24 years, Mavuso’s voice has the ability to be both luxurious and guttural — perfectly characterising the complexity of his subject matter, love.

Drawing on his own experiences, Mavuso soulfully unpacks the not-so-rosy side of romance, tackling issues of loss and betrayal.

Liminal Sketches deals with the aftermath of losing a lover and Home is about being cheated on and the subsequent journey of returning home to yourself.

Although the singer’s jazz training is apparent, Mavuso’s collaborations with producers such as Spoek Mathambo, Black Coffee and Illa N allow his sound to be contemporary and have an air of nostalgia.

Future plans

Having recently signed to Black Coffee’s label Soulistic Music, 2018 promises to be a definitive year for Mavuso as he garners more fans and prepares to release his debut album this winter.

He will also perform at this year’s Red Bull Music Festival and travel to London for some undisclosed collaborations and recording sessions.

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