The Sound of a People is the long-awaited new album by Nipho Mkhize and Sophiatown.
Best known for his previous singles One Night and Warm Skies, Nipho Mkhize was born and raised in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.
Music became a part of his life whilst at church with his parents on Sundays where he sang traditional choral hymns. Later in life, he trained as an actor at AFDA in Cape Town.
Inspiration for Nipho Mkhize and Sophiatown’s ‘The Sound of a People’
“It takes a long time to find your sound and your voice,” says Nipho. “And the sound of this album is inspired by my childhood. It takes me back to sitting in my Dad’s car, listening to Hugh Masekela and Sipho Gumede.
“This album is about trying to find that balance between today’s Top40 and the hits of Sophiatown. We’ve tried to stay true to the DNA of that sound… even Brenda Fassie’s niece, Gemma Fassie, is featured.”
The lead single is a song called Can We Dance featuring Young Mbazo, a group formed by Babuyile Shabalala – the son of Ladysmith Black Mambazo member Msizi Shabalala, who is the son of the late Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala.
4 years in the making
“Babuyile approached his cousins about starting a contemporary version of indigenous a cappella music. And including them on this new single adds an unbelievable magic,” Nipho explains.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the response to Can We Dance as well as the full album. The whole project has taken four years and it includes some of my previous singles, including One Night which charted in the UK. It’s been a process filled with joy and I’m looking forward to putting it out in the universe.”
Aside from an exciting career in music, Nipho is also an award-winning actor. He’s taken up a position teaching at his alma mater, AFDA, in Cape Town and is currently completing his CAF C license for full-time coaching in 2022.
Watch his interview with well-known known TV presenter Tracy Going on YouTube here.