Busi Mhlongo

Busi Mhlongo

Originally from Inanda in Natal, South Africa, Busi Mhlongo is a virtuoso singer, dancer and composer whose music defies categorization. Drawing on various South African styles such as mbaqanga, maskanda, marabi and traditional Zulu, fused with contemporary elements from jazz, funk, rock, gospel, rap, opera, reggae and West African music she produces a fresh and exciting sound. Her infectious music and singing style have a universal appeal, and her lyrics carry powerful and poignant messages.

Her 2001 album Urban Zulu blended her unique, expressive style of singing with the groove-oriented maskanda style, taking this Zulu genre in a new direction by using non-traditional instruments, up-to-the-minute studio techniques and call-and-response chorus vocals to create a Zulu album of global relevance. Busi's reinterpretation of maskanda expresses the agony, the ecstasy, the pain and joy, the trials and ironies of life in a modern urban South Africa.