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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist


Nomcebo Zikode on her past record label pain nourishing the ground for artists under her label

Nomcebo has been embroiled in a legal battle with previous bosses, Open Mic, since 2021.


Often times when people go through difficulty, they make sense of it by imagining that there’s a higher purpose to the pain they’re going through; that their trials are lessons for others in future.

This is somewhat the case for Grammy award winning singer Nomcebo Zikode, who established her record label, Emazulwini Productions, after a turbulent experience with former bosses, Open Mic Productions.

“I found it very important to create an environment where artists are given contracts that are fair, contracts they can understand, and a space where they can thrive. I feel it is very important, regardless of the past, to always pay it forward,” Nomcebo told The Citizen.

The singer has been embroiled in a legal battle with Open Mic since 2021, over the termination of her recording agreement which has spilt over to a song Nomcebo was featured in.

The said song is the Grammy-winning Bayethe which she did with Wouter Kellerman and Zakes Bantwini.

The singer claimed that she had not been paid any of her due royalties from the record-breaking global hit single Jerusalema or her project, Xola Moya Wam.

Nomcebo told The Citizen she is still in court with her former employers, to find a solution.  

“I feel I have accomplished all I possibly could, from plaques, to tours, to all notable awards; therefore, I want to be a platform that allows artists to reach the same heights I have reached,” she said.

Nomcebo officially opened Emazulwini Productions for business in 2023 with the intention to launch it in 2024.

“I wanted to give artists a platform to showcase their talent, and I wanted to offer those artists a fair deal,” said Nomcebo.

ALSO READ: Nomcebo and Open Mic still at war as singer lands in US

Already reaching the heavens

Traumas from her previous label seem minuscule, looking at the fact that one of her artists, Sykes has been nominated for a handful of Metro FM awards.

“I feel insanely honoured to have my first signee already making a name for himself in the mainstream industry! I’m so proud of Sykes and the team for getting him this far, and I hope he wins something,” she averred.

Sykes is nominated in four categories; Best Dance, Best New Artist, Best Kwaito/Gqom and Song of the Year.

“Emazulwini Productions is honestly very new, and to see such things unfold this early really gives us hope for what is to come in future.”

The other artists on the label include Pushkin, Skillz, Torque Muziq, Tee Jay & Exclusive Drumz.

Nomcebo said she’s found a balance in being the boss without taking away from her creative juices, thanks to her team.

“When I had initially founded this company, it was very hard because I was heavily involved in decision making and the functional running of the label. However, I am blessed to now have a very strong team that runs the office on my behalf, so that I can focus more on my career as an artist.”

ALSO READ: WATCH: Nomcebo Zikode strikes again with another banger ‘Izono Zami’

The music

In March Nomcebo released a single, Izono Zami and she says her fans should look forward to more new music this year – hinting at trying a different genre.

“My album is on the way, and I have amazing features, both local and international, in different song styles and genres.”

“I have a very diverse capacity, as I see myself as an artist first,” insists the award-winning muso.

She recently showed a glimpse of this in a song with Maskandi artist, Mbuzeni Mkhize in Maskandi song titled Sathane.

“The Mbuzeni collaboration was special because we have a long-time friendship. I just think people locally don’t hear that music because, as a global musician, we cater different sounds to different territories. But I will always be open to trying new styles of music when I feel it is best.”

NOW READ: Nomcebo Zikode’s stock on the rise since winning Grammy award

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