Mad In Love
After clinching victory in the ninth season of Idols South Africa in 2013, Musa Sukwene went on to steal more hearts and ears through the release of his debut album The Dream in 2014. His sophomore album, 2016's Mr Serious, would reveal a more diverse, refined take on Afropop, however. “The album was inspired by love,” he tells Apple Music, “and I wanted to create a path for myself and let people to know that I’m here to stay.” From the familiarity of the call-and-response acoustics on “Ntandane” and classic balladry of “Nomkitha” to the ’80s pop of “Ndilalapho,” Musa strikes a perfect balance between signaling his greater influences and crafting an authentic South African sound. Across the album's 11 songs, Musa affirms his allegiance to real love, particularly when he sings, “I'm no gamer and I'm no player/I'm Mr Serious,” on the Riky Rick-featuring “Serious.” But it's when the Witbank-born vocalist, songwriter, and producer channels his piercing vocals into emotive subject matter that the album takes hold, as on the stirring breakout hit “Mthande”—featuring the late legend Robbie Malinga—which helped the album achieve multiplatinum certification and Musa cult status. “Working with Robbie on this album was the greatest journey of my life,” he says.