BULAWAYO musician Khulekani Bethule, aka Khuxxman (43), has remixed one of the late music legend Solomon Skuza’s song Banolila, saying he appreciates the work of the legend.
The style interview with Sharon Sibindi
Originally, Banolila was released in the early 1980s when it sold over 75 000 copies.
However, Khuxxman’s remix is set to bring back memories as it is dominating the airwaves, setting tongues wagging on the local music scene. The remix, produced by Khuxxman and Thabani Misile, has a dance house feel. The Standard Style reporter, Sharon Sibindi (SS), recently caught up with Bethule (KB), who opened up on his inspiration and experiences in the arts industry. Below are excerpts from the interview:
SS: Who is Khuxxman and when did you start your music career?
KB: Khuxxman is Khulekani Bethule born on December 5, 1975 at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo. I started music as early as I can remember my childhood. I don’t remember myself having interest in anything besides music. I recorded my first solo project in 1999. It was a four-track kwaito-dancehall project, but it was not released as it was something the record companies had never heard before. That’s the main reason I changed from that style to what I am currently doing.
SS: What type of music do you sing?
KB: My approach to music makes it difficult for me to be specific because I do different styles such as Afro-pop, disco (splash) and reggae. People have accepted me that way, so it’s easy for me to shift from style to style.
SS: Who inspired you?
KB: I was inspired by a number of musicians that include Burning Spear, Lovemore Majaivana, Oliver Mtukudzi and many other artistes. I like almost every type of music as long as it is nice. I would say Ingwe Studio paved the way for my music career.
SS: Who are the people who can be credited with contributing to the success of your music?
KB: Ingwe Studios can claim to have contributed to the success of my music. Zenzele Ndebele and Ernest Masongela gave me the chance to record and produce my music, but the fans are the most important.
SS: Are there any intensions to migrate from the type of music you are singing to another genre? If so, what is that genre and what are the reasons for doing so?
KB: People have accepted me that way, so it’s easy for me to shift from style to style. If you rewind, you will remember that my first song MaAfrica was Afro-pop and on the same project they were a lot of kwaito songs. I did Ngizohamba with Skhu on another Afro-pop album, then I did a disco (Splash) project titled Let’s Unite, which has songs such as Ingculaza. I had Vumelani Isangoma, which was Afro-house, and the Banolila remix is another Afro-house project.
SS: I have been listening to your latest project — Banolila — and your last single — Amaloja — they sound different. What could be the reason behind this difference in beat?
KB: The main goal is to come up with a Bulawayo sound and dance that would be accepted in Africa and the world over. If you listen closely to the Banolila remix, you will note that it is crafted along Zimbabwean sungura/rhumba lines. Wherever you are in the world and hear it for the first time, you will definitely tell it’s something from Zimbabwe.
SS: What is the muse behind the remix? And how are the people reacting?
KB: The Banolila remix was done just to appreciate the work of the late Solomon Skhuza. People are responding very positively meaning the fusion of sungura/rhumba and house music has worked well.
SS: Who did you work with in the production of Banolila?
KB: On that song, I worked with Thabani Mzila, aka Missile, and Lovemore (a guitarist with Madlelas Band). Additional mastering was done by a young man called Thexy and Unity Moyo, aka DJ Mauzah.
SS: As an artiste, how has been the journey in your music career? What should people expect in 2019?
KB: My journey continues to be extremely tough due to lack of resources, but in Ndebele they say ukukhala akusizi (crying does not help), so one has to maintain consistency. Last year I managed to work on Likhwa oka Ncube’s album titled Ngaliwe, Mchezznana’s two singles, my current single and a video.
In this new year I am looking forward to concentrate on live shows, do more videos and release a DVD as well as doing more collaborations.
I also intend to produce more youngsters and help them grow in this tough jungle.
SS: Your parting shot.
KB: I appeal to the business community to get on board and help build an industry that will pay the artistes.