NEW Afro-soul artist ZolaSoul is making waves in the music industry with the release of his debut album, Thando Lokwenene.
ZolaSoul, real name Zola Futshane, has been singing since his primary school days but was given an opportunity to record his music two years ago.
Speaking with the Daily Dispatch yesterday, Futshane said his love for music dated back to his schoolboy days while growing up in New Brighton in Port Elizabeth.
“I used to sing with a group of friends and at school I was also in the choir,” he said.
After completing high school, Futshane moved to Grahamstown to study at Rhodes University. His passion for music did not die although he was doing his degree in computer science and technology.
“In university I was part of a group called Voice of Glory. We would perform our songs at a couple of events. Music has always been my first love.”
After varsity, he moved to East London to work for Eskom.
“I did not stop music, even though I was working in East London. I would sing every now and then. I also started taking guitar lessons,” he said.
In 2006 he left the Eastern Cape to work as a software consultant in Johannesburg. Futshane said he continued to take guitar lessons and would attend some music sessions to put his singing ability to the test.
“Moving to Johannesburg gave me time to do my research about the music industry and I also managed to save money for studio time,” he said.
Around 2012 he recorded his first single, Inwele, which became an instant hit on stations like Umhlobo Wenene and trufm.
“People wanted to know who sings this song and that was when people could see that I could sing.” Futshane is currently not signed by any record label and has had to finance his recording. “It is hard when one is not signed but I managed to work out a deal with my producer.” His producer is afro-soul and jazz artist Wandile Moya, well-known as Afrotraction.
Futshane still works as a software consultant and does music during the weekends and spare time. Around Johannesburg he performs with a full band which consists of John Mthethwa on keys, Lex Futshane on bass, Tlale Makhene on percussion, Cameron Ward on guitar, Johny Vilakazi, Lucky Ndaba and Vusi Gcabashe as back vocalists.
Futshane said his debut album was a mixture of songs that he has written and others were from other songwriters. He said he has worked with the likes of Sisa Sopazi, Mavo Solomon, Luyanda Madope and Mkhululi Ngwenda on his album.
Tomorrow Futshane will be in East London for his album promo tour. —