The annual Afropunk Festival was hosted at Constitution Hill once again, a place that now symbolizes the journey to democracy for South Africa. Afropunk’s main narrative is to dismantle systems of oppression, and it was befitting that it be hosted on these monumental grounds. The fashion, music, food and general ambience of the festival was telling of the aspirations that the festival goers had. They wanted to be seen and heard, they wanted the freedom of expression through visual identity, particularly through dress. The musical line-up was as beautiful as the fashion, and amongst all the amazing musicians we were taken aback by Muzi’s infectious DJ set.
Muzi is a South African electronic music producer and DJ making his mark in the industry. His ability to make contemporary sounds by using old musical references got us dancing all the way through his performance. He has the gift of using nostalgia, not to only take us back to the past, but to create new memories celebrating how far we’ve come. Muzi acknowledges where he comes from and uses this as a guide in his creative process, his musical strength is his versatility and reinterpreting the past in a relatable and relevant way. According to Muzi, his latest album is called Afrovision because it “sonically represented a vision” he has always had of “African music, where it’s been and where it could go”. He identifies as a modern African, taking from the past and the present, and essentially developing a sound that is unapologetically African, yet understood globally. GLAMOUR went backstage at Afro Punk and got to know him better. Muzi’s next single titled We Are Growing (Muzi Rework) will be released this February and we cannot wait to listen and dance to his tunes, he is definitely one to watch for. It’s a Nu Day for South African music.
What impact did performing at Afropunk have on you? (Did you gain personal lessons, did it change your perspective?)
It didn’t change my perspective. It just confirmed it. We’re not this lost generation they make us out to be that is unaware of their history.
How would you describe the genre of the music you write?
Modern African music. It’s not genre specific. I follow a feeling when I create.
Which local artists do you mostly draw inspiration from and why?
I draw inspiration from the older generation. Hugh Masekela, Brenda Fassie, Harari, Miriam Makeba just to name a few. I love that they represented us in a time when our voices were quieted. And now with social media, important voices can get lost in the noise so I’d rather make art that means something and hope my voice shines through.
When did your musical journey begin? Has it been something you've always wanted to do?
I was born into a musical family so I guess it was meant for me. It’s always been how I expressed myself but never knew I wanted to pursue it as a career till later on in my life.
Your sense of style is so unique yet trendy and current, who/what are your fashion influences?
My dad. I dress exactly like how my dad used to dress.
What advice would you give anyone who wants to be a musical artist about how to enter the music industry?
It starts and ends with the music. Get the music to be fire and you’ll figure the rest out. Read as much about the business aspect. There’s an affordable book called “ all you need to know about the music business “ .