When Mthandazo Gatya found out his debut single, Senzeni featuring DJ Manzo SA and Comado had reached platinum; the musician first thanked his fans and promised to continue making them proud by releasing more hits. True to his word, Mthandazo released his EP last month, folding catchy lyricism across its six tracks, Umonde is a taste of the talents of a budding house vocalist who mixes positivity and a soulful touch into his melodic vibes. The EP sees the singer-songwriter layer soulful instrumentals with his buttery vocals and deftly fuse dance with elements of Afropop and maskandi.
Senzeni, that song blew up! It is my happy song of 2021, as soon as midnight hit on NYE it was playing in our house. How do you feel about its success?
Uhmmm it’s a song that has launched my career and introduced me not just to the world but to the country, so I am very grateful and happy with its success. It’s a song that is so close to my heart.
How long did it take you to finish the EP because obviously Senzeni was released late last year?
My EP I think for me finishing it was quite easy because by the time I had to go it I had already started working because I had those songs ready but obviously I still wanted to experiment different sounds so I had to go out and work with other people so it wasn’t that long because it was fun for me. Even composing a song, I can literally do that in 30 minutes because it just comes so easy. If the cords are good enough then it’s going to whisper something in my ear and we have a song.
Dj Manzo SA and Comado feature in 3 out of the 5 songs on your EP, why is that?
Uhmm with those guys, I’m one person that trusts a recipe that works and a formula that works. I don’t like changing or tampering with something that works. I can experiment with different artists and stuff but if you know that I have this it’s definitely going to make the song sound how I want. With them they know my sound, they know what beats go with my vocals and they know my vision and what I’m looking for!
The description for the album is afrobeats meets maskandi and spirituality for an uplifting burst of dance! So would you say that shwi nomtekhala and the thokozani langas are some of your sources of inspiration?
Yeah, they are obviously. I am one guy that is a fan of indigenous sounds, our African sound because I look at our SA artists that have made it globally – your lady smiths, your black mambazos, your Hugh Masikelas etc. It’s saying something about our sound. I take pride in that. I want to modernize it to appeal to the younger market and accommodate anyone cause if you listen to my ep, there’s something for everyone- children, parents, a worshiper of Christ, etc. I’m all about everyone so I’m just about music really.
Who is your favourite artists at the moment?
Sun el musician. I love him. And also black coffee. They both don’t go with the trends but rather what they feel and me as a person I love artists that are true to themselves. Artists who don’t just make music for the masses but true music.
You’ve been in this game for over 10 years and it’s only now that you’ve got your lucky break, what made you never give up? Why did you carry on with music?
It obviously hasn’t been easy but when you’re called to do something you just go for it. For me I’m someone who has tried everything; at some point I thought I’d be a soccer player, I tried radio but music has and will always be my calling. This where I feel like I fully express myself and where I excel most so I just chose to follow through. I’m a practical example of perseverance and patience! On the way I’ve lost a lot of people who walked away from me because they thought I was lazy and that I was busy with done thing that wasn’t paying off but I kept going because I love what I do snd I believe in it and now it’s finally paying off.
What are your plans for 2021 career wise?
More hits. More music. More success.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
’m very passionate about seeing other people succeed hence I start my own recording label – Gatya mudic because I want to give back to up and coming talent. So if I can have discover 2-3 more artists I’ll be happy, all I want to do is see other people succeed. I also want to break into the international market so that I can be a global artists, not just a South African artist. But more than anything I just want peace!
Listen to his EP now;