Reinforcing her pursuit of embracing her heritage, Sho Madjozi ’s latest nine-track mixtape, “What A Life”, is a celebration of individuality. She is one of South Africa’s brightest and boldest breakthrough stars of the last decade, emerging as the pride of her birthplace Limpopo, and wearing the influences from her cosmopolitan upbringing loud and proud. By fusing languages (Tsonga, English and Swahili), genres (gqom, Afro-pop and hip hop) and fashion (the traditional xibelani skirt with Air Force Ones), Sho pays homage to her Tsonga heritage while embellishing upon elements of it.
The EP is a fusion of gqom, Afro-pop and the fast and exciting wave of new-age Xitsonga pop, proving that while you can take the girl out of the village, you certainly can’t take the village out of the girl. At its core, this is a release that champions the idea of embracing who you are, and is a brilliant showcase of what you can be when you are proud of where you are from.
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What A Life gives us a confident and vibrant Sho Madjozi. Diving deep into the sounds of her birthplace in Limpopo, this time around, she spins universal rhymes about love, friendship, dance and, for the first time, we start to get some insight into her recent globetrotting success, with a sneak peak into the whirlwind few years the trendsetting Afro-pop songstress has had. Highlights include the cheeky socio-political commentary of “DiHawks”, the vibey hard-hitting anthem “Sena Ala”, and the electrifying Xitsonga dance hits “Amajoy” and “January.”
But perhaps the most noteworthy is “Shahumba” featuring the legendary Tsonga singer and producer, Dr Thomas Chuake, in his first ever collaboration. With What A Life, Sho Madjozi continues her quest of global domination while staying true to her colourful, cosmopolitan roots.