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Thembelihle Dunjana to drop sophomore album 'God bless iKapa.God bless Mzantsi'

Centred around peace and gratitude Thembelihle Dunjana’s sophomore album is a love letter to the city that gave her a shot at dreaming - an ode and orison to Cape Town and South Africa. Recorded in New York City , God bless iKapa.God bless Mzantsi was a collaborative project between Dunjana and New York based artists. A beast on piano Thembelihle Dunjana’s appreciation for music has allowed her to explore multiple genres but God bless iKapa.God bless Mzantsi is set to tap into contemporary jazz tying back to Dunjana’s musical development stemming from the soothing sounds of jazz.

GLAMOUR caught up with the Mzansi Jazz awards recipient prior to the release of her album: God bless iKapa.God bless Mzantsi

Take us through the making of God bless iKapa.God bless Mzantsi.

It started while I was pregnant with my first child in 2022, her name is Langa. I had a melody that I was composing for her at the piano and knew that this would be part of my next album. I ended up titling the song “Langa Lam”. At the time, I was feeling grateful for everything, my baby, my fiancé, living in a safe environment, my career, just everything seemed to be working out. I think the music was spawned from this sense of gratitude and awareness.

How did you come up with the title and what does it mean to you?

“God Bless iKapa. God Bless Mzantsi” is two fold. Firstly, I am being grateful for having grown up in a city that afforded me great opportunities, I especially wanted to make this point because folks are easily able to say negative things about Cape Town, forgetting the amazing education, way of life and career opportunities that the city gives anyone who is willing to seize it. Secondly, it is a prayer to God, to continue to protect us, His people.

Image: Instagram/@ThembelihleDunjana

What themes does the album carry and how would you like the audience to receive them?

The themes I think are: gratitude, peace and love. I think sometimes we should put our fights down, and choose peace. That is what the album is about. Its about peace.

What makes this album different from your previous album Intyantyambo

Intyatyambo was an exploration of absolutely everything I am into. Especially being younger and more carefree, I was having fun, not thinking too much. This one is more chilled and focuses on one genre

Who did you collaborate with and how was the synergy?

The album was recorded in NYC so I recorded with NY based artists: Jerome Jennings on drums, Zoe Obadia on alto saxophone, Siya Charles on trombone, Tim Norton on Double Bass and Darrian Douglas who features on drums on two of the tracks. I enjoyed working with these musicians and enjoyed recording in my dream city: New York!

Where did you draw inspiration for the album?

From family, life and well just music.

Did you fuse any other genres in the album or did it cater more for the jazz ear?

I think is caters more for the jazz ear, unlike Intyatyambo —my first album— this one is strictly contemporary jazz I would say.

Image: Instagram/@ThembelihleDunjana

What are you most excited about prior to the release?

Well, recently I registered my business “SIMPLICITY MUSIC (PTY) LTD”. I sell educational digital products pertaining to music, and I am excited to start giving piano lessons in the CPT CBD area. I am excited to see my business grow!

The album will be released on the 28th of June 2024

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