Kulani Nkuna
3 minute read
8 Oct 2013
6:00 am

A canny collective

Kulani Nkuna

Despite its feel-good essence, MuzArt's music is not necessarily easy on the ear.

It does not easily fall into the popular house music category and it also sits uncomfortably with the “soulful house” tag as well. It is futile to worry about boxing it in, but discerning music lovers are obsessed with the reasons why something appeals to their psyche, prompting the need for further enquiry.

“One of the first definitions of our music is that we are a soulful house groove band,” says vocalist Rorisang Thandekiso. “The way we structure our music differs somewhat from what is out there in terms of our arrangements and songwriting style. We reluctantly refer to our sound as ‘feel-good music’ because we are of a generation that has the scope to be creative. It is happy music and we want to make people feel good.

When we were putting this album together, we wanted to make sure that the arrangements were tight, and the mixing and mastering was of the highest level in order to deliver a quality product that we could be proud of.”

After the era of kwaito music, which revolved around partying and having a good time that sometimes led to irresponsible behaviour, MuzArt, in a way, preaches new ways of enjoying oneself in a calm, reflective manner.

While the listener can move around gently when the band’s music is playing, it is enjoyable to take note of every instrument and how it is crafted and composed to reflect the finished product.

The band’s name is a play on the words “music” and “art” and, of course the composer Mozart. MuzArt is the coming together of five musicians who combine their craft and unique perspectives to create a world of sound, colour and creativity. Layers of jazz, pop, house, gospel and soul fuse to forge their sound an interplay of genres that is underpinned by positivity and a celebration of life and love.

“We are from all over Gauteng and are from different backgrounds but together we represent this creative boom that exists in young artists,” continues Thandekiso.

“Initially, just meeting for rehearsal was a challenge because I’m from the Vaal; one guy is from the West; one is from Pretoria and another is from the East Rand. We truly represent Gauteng, and these different perspectives and ways of doing things has resulted in this music that we love so much.

Rehearsals are fun because you will find that people speak different languages; most of us never understand the Pretoria lingo, and I am the only girl in the band and am called the snob of the band. These differences are essential to who we are as a collective.”

New tastes in music have caught on in the mainstream MuzArt’s first single, Jukebox, held the number one title on multiple YFM charts for more than three months consecutively.

“While the group is young, we aim to create timeless music that touches and resonates with people from all walks of life. But we also display a certain maturity,” says Thandekiso. “We share a genuine desire to leave a lasting legacy. Our influences are also diverse and we were inspired by the likes of Louie Vega, Sergio Mendez, Fela Kuti, Jabu Khanyile, Lira, Jimmy Dludlu, Thandiswa Mazwai, Ray Phiri … Oh, the list is endless.”