Bongi Mvuyana

Based: Johannesburg

I want my music to mean something to people when they listen to it. I want people to relate to the stories, find something authentic in the words, in the chords” – Bongi Mvuyana

  • Named one of 2013’s “Faces to Watch” by City Press newspaper
  • Named one of the Women to Watch in 2014 by Grazia Magazine
  • Featured in Elle Magazine’s Hotlist for 2014
  • Nominated for GLAMOUR Magazine’s Women of the Year Readers’ Choice Award 2014
  • Described as “The most interesting sound locally since The Arrows” by Gavin Green (Universal Music)
  • “Wow Wow Wow! I Love her!! She’s like a black Lana Del Rey!!” – Morgan Ross (Manager of G Music Management and Electromode Records)
  • “She’s a good singer and destined to become a star!” – Collin Mokgaotsi (Mi Casa Manager)
  • “Bongi’s music is impressive, fresh, sophisticated, adventurous, intelligent, African soul and International” – Therese Owen (Tonight National Music Writer)
  • “Wow! Am sold!” – Ismail Abrahams (Metro FM)

Radio Singles on Air:

  • I Wonder (Chorus: “Shouldn’t be a paradox after knowing me so long you should know I care, shouldn’t carry it alone after knowing me so long you should know I care…”)
  • Gold (Chorus: “I will remember his name, and his sweetest embrace and the warmth of the tears that he brought to my face…”)

The Album: Dopamine |ˈdōpəˌmēn|

It’s about the pleasure of love, the pain it brings when our security within love is compromised and how without that pain it wouldn’t feel so damn good. That satisfaction love brings, the rewarding feeling one gets when love works out after the low points, the calamity when it falls apart and the stronger one gets when they find all the pieces of their broken heart. Love is the cure and the cause, like a drug and endorphin, the rush and the destruction – it’s like Dopamine, your body produces it naturally when you feel good and rewarded about something of pleasure. Our addictions act on the Dopamine system. Having love inside you is rewarding, and the lack of love makes us fiends; longing to the borders of desperation for that touch, that scent, that incomparable feeling.

Performance Highlights:

  • Katzy’s August 2013
  • Prestigious Moshito Music Conference September 2013
  • SABC 2 and DSTV Morning Live November 2013
  • Metro FM’s The Chill Factor “Castle Milk Stout Moment” January 2014
  • SABC 1′s Skyroom Live May 2014

Background

Performance has always been a part of me since I was that little girl with a hairbrush in front of the mirror to the shows I did with a band I was previously part of, Stereo Night School. I watched the reception of Stereo Night School very closely, I knew something had to be right when we were getting love from all over, from Jozi to people in the UK giving us props, it gave me the drive I needed, recording and making music in a studio is different to putting it out there. Studio feeds the passion, people loving what you do give you that hunger for more. I love working with musicians with a fresh ear, who aren’t afraid to experiment and push themselves, that’s why working with Thusi and Ade from The Fridge for the last 4 years has been so fulfilling musically. The creativity and inspiration never stops and it’s all love, it’s all about good music and respect for each other as musicians. William Dewar, the “baddest” guy I know on piano, takes things a notch further, his finesse and exploratory approach inspires me to have more of that – vocally and lyrically.

–       Route of musical interest:

My earliest memory of music is of my dad playing records while I curled up on his belly on the verandah at home. Those are my fondest memories of music and from there I had a connection with it. Like every other kid I used to sing in front of the mirror with a hairbrush, but for me it felt real, like one day it really would happen. When I discovered Maxwell I was more certain than ever what I wanted to do.

–       Formal musical training:

I was in the school choir in primary school and when I got to high school I had the option to study music, which I did for two years before taking up speech and drama. I’ve always taken special interest in the arts and creative writing. I took note of my writing though when a poem I wrote was published when I was 12. One of the most talented poets I know got me my first moleskin diary at 13 and I wrote and performed poetry for the majority of my high school years.

–       Aspirations:

If there’s one thing I’m aiming to achieve, it’s to give people authentic, inspiring music. Lyrically, vocally and musically, I want to see more musicians taking their art to new frontiers. I don’t know what this music I’m making is called, but I just hope it will challenge ideas and resonate with someone, hopefully they can relate to or even find wisdom through my experiences and I want it to be something that they can love too.

 

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