Genre-bending musician, Kekelingo has mastered the art of fusing distinct sounds to create a melting-pot of sweet-sounding jams that consume the listener. The Soweto-born musician sings in “Kekelingo”, a spiritual language that comprises African chants.
Having been part of the dynamic music band, “The Muffinz” throughout most of his career, Kekelingo embarked on a solo journey to let his creativity soar. The vocalist and drummer’s latest offering titled “ITHEMBA” is a vibrant fusion of sonics, featuring fellow musician John Lundun. The song’s groovy ambiance is propelled by its message of hope, which is propelled by the vocalist’s spirituality.
Moziak had a chat with Kekelingo to pick his brain about “ITHEMBA”, his creativity, spirituality, fatherhood, and more.
“ITHEMBA” is groovy and comprises various distinct musical instruments. What inspired the song and its vibrant ambiance?
Kekelingo: A Producer by the name of John Lundun took a chance on me and sent me a DM on Instagram, asking to have me on a beat he produced. Boy oh boy after listening to the beat, I instantly knew that it is going to be a massive song. The lyric Ithemba started to ring in my head and in my creative process I then started to meditate and play around with the lyric Ithemba, which translates to hope and belief.
The song has been well-received by music lovers across the board. Were you expecting such a positive reception?
Kekelingo: I am a spiritual being and I knew from the first time I listened to the beat that “Ithemba” is going to shake the music industry. And the fact that the song carries a powerful message of self-belief and one believing in their inner voice.
“ITHEMBA” features astounding musician, John Lundun. How did the collaboration come about?
Kekelingo: The moral of the story is that check your DMs because you will never know the blessing that can be in the DM; producer John Lundun sent me a DM and I replied to the great hit that is Ithemba.
What does your creative process look like?
Kekelingo: My creative process involves a lot of meditation and prayer with a beat or a spiritual download that my people gift me with.
How would you describe your sound, and what is it inspired by?
Kekelingo: My sound is sung in Kekelingo, a spiritual language that doesn’t exist, made up of African chants that my people download to me at night when I am sleeping. And in the morning I pray and meditate on the download. Musically I am inspired by Salif Keita, Angelique Kidjo, Khadja Nin, and Bobby Macferine
What message would you like your listeners to take from “ITHEMBA?”
Kekelingo: It’s for all the Lingonians to believe in their inner voices again and believe in themselves, regardless of what people may think of them. Self-belief is the greatest weapon for humanity.
You’re a father to a 1-year-old. How has fatherhood impacted you as a musician?
Kekelingo: I love my baby girl so much that I composed an amazing song just for her called “Akekho”, produced by Nhlonipho in amapiano beat. My wife is not happy because I don’t have a song for her.
We’ve been seeing a lot of performances from “The Muffinz” over the past few months. Can we expect any new music from this collective?
Kekelingo: The Muffinz band is celebrating its 10th anniversary and is going stronger and stronger and yes an album is going to be released soon.
How would you say you’ve grown since embarking on a career as a solo musician?
Kekelingo: I believe in my producing skills and music knowledge more now than ever.
What else can we expect from you in 2022?
Kekelingo: 2022 Lingonians can expect my debut EP and lots and lots of amazing collaborations.