There’s a Zuma on my stereo

2012-11-09 10:17

Musician Joel Zuma impresses Lesley Mofokeng with his smooth and dignified sounds

There has been a deluge of Zumas flooding our national conversations lately, be it in politics, business or the arts.

Names such as Khulubuse Zuma, Dudu Zuma, Duduzane Zuma, Edward Zuma and Gugu Zuma have become media fodder.

With the rise of Jacob Zuma to the highest office in the land, there seems to be a renewed vigour in his brood.

Now meet a new JZ – Joel Zuma – someone you’re likely to hear a lot from and about in the music world. For the record, his singing skills put the president’s Umshini Wami rendition to shame.

For a change, this 34-year-old crooner from Mpendle outside Pietermaritzburg is not from the presidential bloodline, although there may be long-distance links.

Zuma, who goes simply as Joel, has been quietly chipping his way to the top since high school. A chance meeting with radio legend “Kansas City” Mchunu made him determined to be a radio star.

Then, while studying at Natal Technikon (now Durban University of Technology), he landed jobs on UkhoziFM radio dramas, such as Hhayi Bo, Ingoma kaMama, Sibhekephi and Ngavuka Kwabafileyo. Word spread in the small Durban theatrical circuit and Zuma was cast in productions such as Othello and Amadeus.

After his studies, he was one of the most cast young performers, working nonstop for two years.

In search of something bigger, he packed his suitcase, a TV and radio set, and with R900 headed to Joburg.

After just three months trawling the audition rooms and back alleys of the big bad city, Zuma was fast-tracked to fame when he landed a role in Richard Loring’s The Young Ones, which ran for a year and earned him a Naledi nomination for best newcomer and best singer.

In musical after musical he became indispensable as an actor, singer and musical director.

He ventured into TV as a presenter of e.tv’s Let’s Fix It and was last seen in Kwela Bafana at The Market Theatre this year.

“I never stopped writing music throughout,” he says. “I always wanted to release an album for South Africans. My calling was in the music and not just acting. I couldn’t wait for South Africa to hear what I had to say, until now.”

Last month, Zuma finally released When The Time Is Right, one of the outstanding albums currently on the market.

A fast and energetic talker, Zuma longs for the old values of love he grew up with and this is his effort to bring it back. His philosophy is that not all music should be loud. He believes soulful, music still has a place today. He is inspired by late US soul singers Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass and Luther Vandross.

“Does everything have to be boom-boom these days? Where is the love we grew up on? Every house had an album of good old soul music,” he says.

“I still believe in old-school love. I needed to remind people of the eternal love that’s not dependent on money and status, just pure love. That’s what I encourage.”

The album is well produced and performed with finesse. It has a dignified sound and there’s no sense of a chancer here.

The confidence he exudes on songs like Ordinary Man and Ngimtholile points to a man who waited for when the time is right.

» When The Time Is Right (EMI/CCP Records) is in music stores nationwide

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/Sport
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Hold onto your money. Don`t make rash decisions. Today is not a good day to gamble or take an impulsive risk. Someone may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.