Writing about rock is personal, one can think up harsh metaphors to describe harsh chords and harsh voice-strains. Writing about Hip-Hop is easy, one can quote lyrics for shock value and analyse rhyme schemes that validate rap for the poetry that it is. Writing about Jazz is fun! One can describe cartoon-like moods for each instrument’s colourful, animated sound. Writing about Mazula is an experiment, a worn out ‘Backspace’ key and impatient alphabet letters, like dipping your toes into cold water before diving in.
No Mazula was not the right answer to a “spot the difference” question, Mazula is a band that is also a genre that is also an energy content not to have a specific colour. Zoe Mazula, the band’s vocalist, used the words “hip, African, soul, fusion, folk, and gospel” to describe their music and Vusa Mazula, the band’s guitarist, simplified it to “anything but heavy metal, trans, or opera”. Zoe and Vusa are the heart of the band, who plan to tour Africa and the rest of world, and explore their musical potential with different musicians; collaborating with the band to generate a continuous creation of new sound.
Although this is the first time the couple has created original music together and is going to perform it, Zoe and Vusa are far from being newbies to the music industry. Zoe, originally from London, has been performing since she can remember, from acting to dancing to her greatest passion, singing, which allows her to “do all three and still be [her]self”. One of the most significant bands she was part of before Mazula was Dharmarain, a band Zoe described as “the female version of Coldplay”. Similarly, Vusa has wanted to be a musician all his life, which is probably convenient given his confession at being “completely unemployable”. Vusa has been involved in bands since high school and although his first band was self-described as “absolutely horrible”, he went on to perform all over London in numerous bars and festivals, in his funky reggae band, House of Rhythm. Together the couple owned and created Zula Sound Bar on Long Street and currently sing covers for weddings and functions as Horizon’s Tale. They also organise and manage The Farmhouse Rocks at the Cape Farmhouse, and now they make and perform original music as Mazula.
Outside of logistics, Zoe and Vusa’s interaction with each other and with people is as fluid, raw, and passionate as the smoothest and juxtaposingly provoking note of music you can think of. Amongst artists like Seal, John Lennon, Miriam Makeba, and Stevie Wonder, they named Fat Freddy’s Drop as one of their favourite bands. They excitedly justified this statement by saying that the band’s music is the kind one can listen to at any time for any purpose, “to chill, to dance, at a dinner party, anything”. Whilst this description rung true at a first listening of Fat Freddy’s Drop, the description is not a faithful one as it seems just as committed to illustrating Zoe and Vusa’s electricity.
Mazula will be performing at the Cape Farmhouse, on Saturday, the 28th of January as a fundraiser to record their first album. Come and witness a musical revolution promising nothing other than to make you feel.