After three years of being the highest selling artist in South Africa, Mlindo the Vocalist releases his highly anticipated sophomore album, ‘LINDOKUHLE’, inviting the world to join him on a soulful and introspective sonic journey. The album, which shows the many sides of Mlindo the Vocalist at this current point in time in his life, offers a 9-song track list, including collaborations with the likes of Sjava, Ishmael, DJ Maphorisa and Ami Faku. LINDOKUHLE has all the elements of a Mlindo album and is now available to stream, download, and purchase worldwide here.
Mlindo the Vocalist’s ‘LINDOKUHLE’ is a masterclass in concise song writing and delivery.
“I started working on the album during lockdown. We had no idea when it would end, so I spent that time recording music for myself in my hometown. Most of it was recorded then, but by the time I finished it, the country was open,”
The result is an album that’s equal parts triumph and tribulation. LINDOKUHLE features a motley crew of collaborators while ruminating on topics such as love, millennial hedonism, home, despair and hope. Half seance, half ambush, LINDOKUHLE is an album about the collision of history and the future.
The album opens with Luselude featuring long-time collaborator and friend, Sjava.
“Luselude is essentially a letter to my mother. When lockdowns started, I was anxious about the fact that I couldn’t make a living because I couldn’t perform. It was difficult not being able to provide for my family, like I usually do. Sjava would often send me messages wishing me luck and telling me to keep my head above the water. When lockdown was finally lifted, Sjava told me he had an idea for a song, so we went into the studio to write this. In the end, this song also serves as motivation for me to remind me that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.’”
The second track, which was also a single, is ‘Jumaima’ featuring the legendary, Ishmael.
“When I first broke into the industry in 2018 I had a list of legends I dreamt of working with, and Ishmael was one of them. In 2020 we were introduced to each other and that’s how we came to make this song. I needed someone who could give it that old-school R&B vibe, and he was the perfect person for it. ‘Jumaima’ is actually my younger cousin’s name. She’s always wanted me to make a song that shouts her out, so this is it. It’s not directly addressed to her because it’s a love song, but I still wanted to give her a shout-out.”
The third track, ‘Umuzi Wethu’ was also part of the two single and features Madumane (DJ Maphorisa).
“We all have that uncle in our family—the wild uncle who just can’t be controlled by anyone. This song is about that type of uncle and how he should be ashamed of himself for not taking care of his kids or the rest of the family. At some point in the song, I give an example of wanting to pay lobola but not trusting your uncle to be part of the delegation because he’d mess the entire thing up.”
Ami Faku features on “Lotto” the fifth track on the album.
“‘Lotto’ was also recorded at a time during lockdown where I felt trapped, boxed in and like my life wasn’t in my hands anymore. I was being told where I could go, what time I should be back home and what I could and could not do. I felt like I needed an escape. I had a conversation with Ami and she told me she’d been experiencing the same feeling. At some point, we were talking about how amazing it would be to win the Lotto, disappear and live another life entirely.”
‘Impil’Imile’, track six, features talented poet, Nue_Sam and is about trying to balance being in a relationship, going out with your boys and failing. “The song is about a guy who’s tripping; he’s doing all this clubbing with his boys until the lady in the relationship with him can’t take it anymore. It’s only when the lady bounces that he realises he messed up a good thing and his life loses direction because he’s lost her.” On “Thath’Icard Lami” featuring Masiano, Mlindo discusses being in love with your girl and giving her your bank card so she can go out and have fun with her friends.
“‘Thath’Icard Lami’ isn’t about flexing, it’s about being so certain about your girl that you give her your bank card so she can go on a night out with her girls and spoil herself. Some people might find it weird, but it’s a song about assurance—knowing you’ve found the one and treating her like it.”
‘Ama2000’ features Masiano & Meez and addresses Gen-Z, also commonly known as ‘ama2K’.
“We have a generation of children who don’t really want to listen to their elders, they are always out clubbing and are never at home. All they want to do is party and drive around in Vianos.’”
“Kuyeza Ukukhanya” featuring El World’s Mthunzi echoes the same sentiment on ‘Luselude – persevering.
“This song is about that feeling you get when things aren’t going your way and you feel like you’re a disappointment to yourself and your family. There’s a part in the song where I talk about someone who isn’t doing too well at school, and because of that, he feels like he’s letting his family down. The message is to keep your head up and that there are better days ahead.”
The album ends with ‘Shiwele’, a track that interpolates Bojo Mujo’s ‘Shiwelele’, and is an affirmation for Mlindo.
“This song is an affirmation and is like a letter to all the artists who came before me. I’m saying thanks for the inspiration, but I’m also cementing my place and saying, ‘I’m here to stay’.”