Exklusiv ZENO Listening Session at Rocking The Daisies

By Keith Dinnematin  |  October 11, 2019  | 215

We’re still recovering from the whirlwind of Rocking The Daisies, but we made sure to have a chat with Muzi after his exclusive listening session of his new album, ZENO, which he debuted at the MeisterHaus.

Zeno is my daughter’s name. She’s only one year old. When I was making the album, I was thinking of her when she reaches my age, when she’s 28 and what she would say about me. This album is like a timecapsule so that she can be like, ‘My dad went through heartbreak, rough times and happy times’, and she’ll see that it’s normal.
When I was making the album, I was thinking of death, but not in a bad way, but it was inspiring me to be more conscious of the message I want to put out in my music. I knew naming the album was easy. It’s just 4 letters, and it’s going to follow her for her whole life. I now have 2 Zeno’s in my life, an album, and my child.

Images by Thabo Molaba

Kwa-Zulu Natal is my home, and I’m heavily inspired by it. I know many talented people from back home who don’t want to push their talents, they don’t see it as an actual career, and because I’ve pushed myself, I feel that I have this responsibility to shine a light on how different it is. There’s all this rich Zulu culture, and I use this in my music, I’ll go home and record Zulu drums, sound design it and change it. I’ll record my own vocals and change it all just to fuck with the sound, and craft it into what I want it to sound like with sampling. By doing this, I’m given an opportunity to export my home to the rest of the world.

Images by Thabo Molaba

This year has been crazy. I’ve played so many shows and I’ve been flying a lot, but I love going to other places and being received so well from people who don’t even know my music. It all reaffirms that I’m going in the right direction. I filled up a show in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, and Switzerland. So many different interests and tastes, and I’m just going there to do my thing, and they’re curious to find out what it is.
We’re all discovering it together because if anyone had to ask me what genre my music is, I wouldn’t be able to tell them. I take African music and add electronic elements. I call it genre-fluid modern African music, which is dance music, really, but this just goes to show that even far from home, music is a language we all speak and love.

Images by Thabo Molaba

For me, it would have to be the older guys. They’re the ones who may be easily forgotten, but we stand on their shoulders in music. They’ve built the culture. I feel that in South Africa, our legends die out and disappear, whereas, in the USA, Keith Richards is a God. Brenda Fassie, rest her soul, we never got a chance to pass the baton to keep the music moving forward.
I’d want to collaborate with someone to create a bridge between the era gaps in our music, like Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, or even PJ Powers.

Images by Thabo Molaba

Brands are definitely the new record labels. Artists who are looking to sign to a label to make a name for themselves are thinking 30 years ago. Right now is a great time for independent artists to find their feet by doing their own shows, and working with brands to help them grow their niche audience.
For example, I’ll play at festivals but I’ll still play my own shows to grow my fanbase.
Festivals are like planting a beautiful flower in someone else’s garden, the flower is beautiful, but this is not my garden. Get your own garden and then build from there.
Many artists complain that things may not be happening for them, but they need to ask what they’re doing to help themselves and what they’re doing for their music. They think signing a deal is like the movies, and it all goes well from there. They’ll be buying cars and mansions but not investing in their music. You need to invest in yourself to grow your music.
The internet has been a great tool for exposure, but playing those small shows, finding yourself and learning to perform are important. Everyone wants to perform on the main stage at Rocking the Daisies, but they’re afraid of performing to a crowd of 10 people. Pace yourself, don’t take shortcuts, and make sure you’re in the game for the long haul. It’s one brick at a time.

Images by Thabo Molaba

Because it’s a dope idea and no one is doing these things. I’m doing something cool, with a cool brand. I like these different things that no one would think of or expect. For example, in a few days, I’m playing a listening session in a cinema in Johannesburg. They’re coming to a cinema to listen to my music. I love these ideas that seem far-fetched, they’re the ones that work because they’re so simple.

ZENO is now available on all streaming platforms.
Apple Music

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