Kelly Khumalo on her new album: "for the first time ever, I did not write anything on this album"

Life with Kelly Khumalo
Life with Kelly Khumalo
Photo: Supplied by Showmax

Just last week Friday, Kelly Khumalo topped Twitter’s trends list after her single Empini went gold. This was also the same day that she released her much anticipated studio album, The Voice of Africa

The album is produced by musician Mondli Ngcobo and sees Kelly exploring the theme of a collective African experience while also touching on the struggles faced by women, love, betrayal and fighting for survival. 

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She tells TRUELOVE more about the album.

Can you please tell us about the album, what is it about?

The album is called The Voice of Africa and it’s literally me using my voice to narrate African stories.

Where did you draw the inspiration for the album?

I drew inspiration from the richness of Africa as a continent, from its minerals to its history. You'll also find Kenyan and Nigerian influences throughout the album. 

By the time we got into lockdown, I was done with studio time. The only thing that was left was mixing and mastering the album.

How is The Voice of Africa different from your other albums?

For the first time ever, I did not write anything in this album. I did nothing but sing, so that’s where the difference is. I wanted to experience myself from a producer’s point of view. I wanted to experience myself based on the kind of sound I want for myself, so I had to let the producers do their thing and trust them.

Empini has just gone gold, was this something you had anticipated or did it come as a surprise?

Empini is an exceptional song, and I believe great songs become hits. So, to be honest - I was waiting for this to happen - I wouldn't have been happy if it didn't.

Who were you most excited to work with in this album?

Everyone I worked with on this project was someone I was excited to be sharing space with. But I was particularly looking forward to working with Mondli, Msaki and Dr Hlengiwe Mhlaba. 

How hard was it completing your album in the middle of lockdown?

People don’t actually know that I started working on my album a long time ago. By the time we got into lockdown, I was done with studio time. The only thing that was left was mixing and mastering the album.

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Life With Kelly Khumalo was a hit, will viewers be getting a second season?

I hope so!

What more has Kelly Khumalo planned for the year?

I’m just going to be focusing on promoting my album and touring the country. We’ll also be launching something on the 12th of November. But leading up to that, we’ll be doing mini shows in every province that we go to.

WATCH | 'Empini' by Kelly Khumalo: 

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