Johannesburg – Born and bred Sowetan Slo’ Makoya, real name Phumlani Marcelle Mbonene, isn’t just a musician – he’s also an actor.
That refusal to be limited to just one discipline comes through in his music, too, which boasts elements of Kwaito with a Gqom edge in his recently released single dubbed Beach to Beach.
The single is a crazy, outlandish, imaginative and absurd dance-floor filler with references to party life, money and women.
The father of two has spent his whole career working up and down the entertainment business with his songs and his passion for acting.
He started chasing after his dream in high school. His hunger to pursue his dream saw him approaching different music labels with no luck.
His break finally came when his talent was discovered by Bongani Papido, a producer who helped him record his first demo.
This opened doors for him leading to sharing the stage with different artists around the country and overseas.
Beach to Beach solidified his songwriting and artistry into something concrete.
“My struggles to break through in the industry taught me that failure is part of the process to achieve big things. I had to do it and do it again until it worked. I followed my heart and what it was telling me. For an aspiring artist, I would suggest starting with honing your skills and gaining insightful knowledge from professionals who have gone through the process and have the experience to take you to that next level,” he shares.
His hunger for success also saw him snatching acting roles including on SABC’s Muvhango and Sokhulu & Partners. He is presently on SABC3’s new telenovela, The Estate, playing a role of a barman. He says he finds his music and acting overlapping.
“With music, you have to find the emotional connection to the song, just as you have to find your emotional connection to the scene with acting. When you’re singing, you’re taking the audience through a journey,” he explains.
Slo’ Makoya, who fed himself a steady diet of Kwaito as a teenager says his music has been mostly influenced by kwaito veteran, Mdu Masilela.
“I like to take influences mainly from the sounds of Mdu but also many other brilliant kwaito artists inspire me on a daily basis. Mdu is one of the greatest Kwaito stars of our generation. His songs are matured and well-thought of. His sound is original, authentic and decent,” he says.
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