Grew up listening to the likes of Tracy Chapman, Caiphus Semenya and Chris Du Berg
Interviewed by Bhekani Dube the Poet
My name is Ephraim Mamabolo and I was born and raised in Limpopo province, my music talent started showing at an early age I would always sing along various professional musicians songs.
I grew up listening to the likes of Tracy Chapman, Caiphus Semenya and Chris Du Berg. These were my favorite musicians. After matric I moved to Joburg to further my studies and completed in 2001, then in 2002 I got a recording deal with a recording company called Shova.
Makgola is my African name, as I’m doing African tunes I blend it relating to my music. My music professionally started in 2002 when I got signed to Skhova music production and since then I never looked back.
Apart from music, I’m a qualified Hairdresser and a motivational speaker.
The company was venturing with Gallo music, it’s where I was a composer, writer, and a voice over artist. I performed across SA and shared stage with people like Zola, Ernest Shelembe and many more.
One of my songs was Top 5 on the top 20 programme at Ikwekwezi FM for months. Things didn’t end well with my record label after they couldn’t pay my royalties and I had to cut ties with them.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t pursue my music career professionally because my contract wasn’t terminated with my former production and so since 2004 I used to help other artists in studios. I produced a few under underground tracks, and did a lot of great hits.
I used to make my money from performing in clubs, like club Uhuru, Calabash, and other stages. My contract expired in 2012 then I bought a mini Studio and established my own production called Stonedrill Production which I’m still carrying to date.
I released my debut Afro fusion album called Medupi which got delayed by the impact of Covid-19 but still doing very well. Along my musical journey, I worked with people like Oom Alec Kgaoudi, Donavan Knocks, Richard Matoro, Najee Davis from New York and many more accredited South African musicians.
Since my production started I worked with many upcoming artists like Scwenzi, Amabhungu Wesizwe, Mzanywa Sibanda known as Big5 who is from Zimbabwe singing Rhba. Mafios, Lj Musica and Bhekani Dube whose 2nd album just got released this month, with masterpiece poetic tunes.
Engineering is like the central processor that infuses voices and instruments together creatively and give it a distinctive finest tone and I can impersonate a producer, music director, or musical conductor at the same time.
So my dream is to see my music being played on the highest platforms which we currently striving on pushing that. Under my stable, there’s a number of artists, the likes of Thandiswa S, Elisa, and Kopano my son his album is due for release soon.
My album Medupi is a fusion of modern and traditional jazz with a little bit of rooted African flavours which can leave you astonished, it contains love songs, motivational and general information about our daily experiences.
I gave up on releasing my own music but with encouragement from people I met. I felt like this is the time I refocused my attention to my natural gift as I owed so long to myself.
I have enjoyed working with my Zimbabwean brothers and shared a lot, learnt a lot from them in this industry. I am so happy to be the luckiest engineer to produce foreign traditional music such as Isitshikitsha that Big 5 has recorded.
My CDs or music recording contact me on 074 2918341 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bhekani Dube is an author and a writer for Zimbabwe Arts Association in collaboration with Zim Digital Sunday Express.
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