Idwala

Mafikizolo

Idwala

On their 12th studio album, the South African Afro-pop duo of Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Mafu still feels rock-solid, hence the album’s title—“rock” in IsiZulu. On iDwala, the veterans enlist the finest contemporary South African musicians for a highly collaborative body of work that meshes the old with the new. Sjava joins the duo on “10K”, the cover of '90s’ South African R&B group Twins’ “Love Ten Thousand”. Their flirtations with amapiano led to "Loco Loco" and “Ngiyaz'Fela". Zakes Bantwini lends his heaving Afrotech production on “Abasiyeke”, which interpolates the duo’s 2005 hit “Nisixoshelani” and 2020 amapiano anthem “Sgubhu” by Shuffle Muzik—and the message is still the same: South Africans like to party throughout the night and don’t take kindly to party poopers. Old fans won’t be lost, however, as the duo’s signature sound carries songs like “Uhamba Nathi”, “Umculo Wakithi”, “Shona Malanga” and “Fatela”. The latter interpolates amapiano producer De Mthuda and vocalist Sir Trill’s “Emlanjeni”, which itself references Mafikizolo’s 2005 ballad of the same name, a song which contains interpolations of Miriam Makeba’s “Meet Me at the River” released in 1978. Music has evolved with time, but Mafikizolo remains in tune with trends while paying homage to their predecessors, and their voices retain the spirit of youth even in their maturity.

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