Nestled in the creative hub of Maboneng in downtown Johannesburg, it’s no surprise he’s inspired by culture.
Xhosa trap musician Sinethemba “Snymaan”Bibi released his first single since signing with Ambitiouz Entertainment in 2020.
“When I’m writing I do prefer to be in my own space. I like to write then play the song out to myself.”
The track, Umvulo, is part of his own genre of music, qabanation, which is about being true to yourself. The single is all about starting something new.
“Just like Monday is the start of a new week, so Umvulo signifies the chance to start afresh, the anticipation of knowing that something great is coming and that even though things might seem difficult, one should have the courage to keep going through all the trials.
“Umvulo became my anthem to keep pushing and to persevere. It didn’t take that long [to record] but I took my time writing it as it was a very personal song.”
Snymaan has always been interested in music. “Even as a child I was in the choir in both primary and high school. I used to love listening to the likes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.”
His debut single, Sus’bambezela, gained traction in 2016 and cemented him as an independent artist. The song successfully bagged two nominations at the Kumkani FM Hip Hop Awards, for best newcomer and best hip-hop song.
He won best newcomer. The eager musician went on to feature on Kid Tini’s Imali and Emtee’s Smogolo and Abantu before he sealed the deal with Ambitiouz Entertainment. The 36-year-old rapper is originally from Mthatha. Defining his sound as healing, his musical journey has been a gratifying one.
“My music is a very spiritual journey for me. The songs I write have always been inspired by true life events and things I have been through. I’ve always been of the mind that music is a form of healing and base all my songs on that.”
He loves that songs are now easily available on the internet, unlike when he was younger.
“Before you had to go buy a tape or wait for a certain radio station to play your favourite song. Now artists are able to spread their messages widely and have better interaction with their fans.”
When things weren’t going well and he wasn’t in a good space, his partner knew how to get him to a better place.
“Go to studio and record,” she said. Besides patience and trusting God’s timing, the father of four says his partner’s plea pushed him and it paid off. His main priority is family.
“I always make sure to remember and to remind them that everything we are doing is for the greater good of the family.” When he’s not focusing on promoting his music, Snymaan is spreading the qabanation message.
“My music is my truth and I will continue to deliver music with a purpose.”