Trailblazing South African singer Thandiswa Mazwai recently discussed her return to “self” and the highly anticipated release of her fourth solo studio album, “Sankofa,” which is Akan for “go back and get it”.
In a captivating interview with OkayAfrica at this year’s globalFest, Mazwai expressed her excitement about sharing her “Sankofa” project with the world and stressed the importance of the intentional inclusion of diverse elements.
Having been a pivotal figure in South Africa’s music scene for almost 30 years, Mazwai’s journey from her early days with Kwaito group Jack-Knife to her Afro-soul persona reflects her evolution as a pioneering artist.
The term “Sankofa” carries the powerful meaning of going back to reclaim what has been lost, a theme that echoes throughout Mazwai’s album.
In the interview, Mazwai said she meticulously curated every detail, making “Sankofa” a multifaceted experience for listeners.
As an artist who takes time between albums, Mazwai said she views each release as an opportunity to reintroduce herself, reaffirm connections, and establish new ones.
She acknowledges the evolving dynamics of her international audience, adding she strives to adapt to changing energies in different spaces.
Mazwai’s impact on the South African music scene is immeasurable, and she expresses gratitude for the unwavering support of her fans throughout her career. The symbiotic relationship between Mazwai and her South African fan base reflects a unique and enduring connection.
“What’s always been important to me as an artist is to do the thing that feels natural and authentic to me. I think that for any artist, if that’s the thing that you do, then the work somehow finds a way to travel and finds its place in the lives of other people. But really, when I make the music, I’m making it for myself and for my own healing. I think it’s the openness and the authenticity that maybe people resonate with,” she said during the interview.
The forthcoming album is poised to continue Mazwai’s legacy of creating music that transcends borders and resonates deeply with listeners.
Looking ahead, Mazwai anticipates a year filled with touring to share the “Sankofa” experience with audiences worldwide.