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Busi Mhlongo’s breakthrough album Urban Zulu reissued for the first time
Photo credit: Pete Williams

Busi Mhlongo’s breakthrough album Urban Zulu reissued for the first time

Matsuli Music has announced the first-time vinyl release of Busi Mhlongo’s seminal 1999 record, Urban Zulu. Produced by Will Mowatt, it went on to win three South African Music Awards: Best Female Artist, Best Adult Contemporary Album, and Best African Pop Album.

It’s been a decade since she departed, yet her footprints continue to make their presence felt with music from artists from  Thandiswa Mazwai, who spent time studying under the influential musician before releasing her 2004 debut, Zabalaza or Nduduzo Makhathini, who’s re-imagined one of her songs, “Yehlisan’umoya”, on his latest album. The version, which features Omagugu Makhathini on vocals, has been remixed by acclaimed House music producer and deejay, Da Capo. It’s currently at number 1 on South African radio charts. 

Bongani Madondo, who wrote the liner notes on her last album, Amakholwa, wrote she is “one of the truly gifted singers and ritualistic performers of our age,” and that she remains “the subversive torchbearer of contemporary black, female pop.

Busi Mhlongo surrendered to breast cancer on June 15, 2010. Busi Mhlongo lives on.

You can pre-order Urban Zulu via Bandcamp here.