South Africa maskandi star Bheki “Ihashi Elimhlophe” Ngcobo has made a musical return to his career with the release of a new 16-track album, Ama Waza Waza, after a two-year hiatus.
The release of Ama Waza Waza will be his 29th album and the first time he releases under a major record label, Universal Music Group. The album pre-order was made available on July 19, with the official release date set for July 26.
The legendary artist has a career spanning more than 40 years and has led the Maskandi music genre for decades, thrilling crowds with performances he describes as being “100% Ihashi Elimhlophe”.
His music content is authentic, interestingly a raw traditional Zulu description true to his culture. Still, a non-prejudiced listener with a broader sense of music appreciation is sure to marvel and appreciate the honesty displayed via his music.
“You usually see us behind projects in the mainstream genres, whether it’s kwaito, hip hop, R&B or pop, but at Universal, we take our responsibility from a cultural level very seriously.
Speaking on the country’s music industry, Sipho Dlamini, managing director of Universal Music Group Africa, sub-Saharan Africa said, “For us, while we are seen enhancing youthful projects, it is very essential that we help our culture, our African culture and make sure that we invest as much into those aspects of the music industry.”
Ngcobo’s talent was discovered in the 1980s while he played bass guitar for The Soul Brothers. Thereafter, he became a leader of the group, Imitshotshovu.
After the success of the group’s debut album, Icala, he was convinced he needed to pursue a solo career, a move that has placed him as the elite of Maskandi.