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Msizkay: Byo’s new gem

By Sindiso Dube

WINNING his first music award for the Best Metro Urban Artiste at last year’s Skyz Metro FM Music Awards coupled with performing at this year’s National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) and having his song, Made in Africa, used as the event’s theme song, are undoubtedly Msizkay’s greatest highlights of his career.

Msizkay, real name Sizalobuhle Nkomo, who released his second album titled Bayashiswela, has seen his efforts being recognised by getting a nomination for the Outstanding Hip-hop Award at this year’s Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards and is tipped to cause an upset in the category, where he is nominated alongside Cal_Vin, Asaph, MUSE, Namibia-based K Brizy and Guluva Se7en.

The singer and rapper, who hails from the high-density suburb of Magwegwe, announced his arrival with an album — Bazovuma — which carried hit tracks like
Inkomo Zamalobolo. Recently he released Bayashiselwa, which aptly means “they can’t contain my heat”.

Bayashiselwa has received favourable rotations on local radio stations, themed around love, life struggles and African tradition. Tracks such as Made in Africa, Ngiyaz’thandela, Engikuzwayo featuring Sandra Ndebele and Asiphinde Futhi are some of the must-listen songs on his offering.

Listening to Msizkay’s music, one can attest that his sound is different and unique from his peers. Deeply rooted in traditional elements, but maintaining its
urban feel fused with live instrumentation.

However, the artiste, who turned 30 last Thursday, prefers to call his music “Woo Haa”, a self-styled genre.

“This is Woo Haa music, a fusion of R‘n’B with hip-hop and elements of traditional African music. The word Woo Haa doesn’t really have a meaning, it’s a phrase
that I came up with one day and it stuck, the sound was unique and it needed a name and I gave birth to the genre,” Msizkay said.

“Most of my music is emotional and love is a very powerful emotion. I write from what I experience and what I see around me. The title is Bayashiselwa because
it perfectly expressed how I felt at the time. I had dropped Bazovuma and after that I saw how some people were envious and felt threatened by me in one way or
the other.”

Msizkay revealed that his latest offering has won him many followers.
“Bazovuma opened many doors for me and Bayashiselwa is opening a lot of hearts. The fan base is getting bigger every day, more and more people are falling in
love with the music. Bayashiselwa, which I dropped about one and a half years after my first album, but if the truth be told there are a few songs there that
I composed way back like Icherry Yami, which I wrote back in 2014, and Remember Me which I wrote in 2011,” he said.

“I love all my works and I can’t pick any track and say this is my favourite. However, some of my favourites are London, Ngiyaz’thandela, iCherry Yami, Picture
117, the title track, and Take You Home,” said Msizkay.

The artiste said he was inspired by the late Joe Maseko who taught him how to make music.

“One of my biggest inspirations was, and continues to be, the late great Joe Maseko. He is the one who moulded me into the artiste that I am today. Society around me also plays a huge role in inspiring me and influencing my music, hence I sing about everyday events like love and struggle,” he said.

Speaking on Made in Africa being the Nama theme song, Msizkay said: “I found out that the theme for this year’s Nama awards was African Royalty and I knew Made
In Africa would fit in with their concept. The song was submitted for their consideration and fortunately enough they loved it too. It was an amazing and eye-
opening experience to perform on the Nama stage, totally amazing.”

Meanwhile, Msizkay is one of the underdogs nominated for the outstanding hip-hop category at the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards set for June 29. Other nominees are
MUSE, Guluva Se7en, KBrizzy, and high-riding and favourites Cal_Vin and Asaph. Msizkay is poised to cause an upset this year.

Asaph and Cal_Vin’s respective fans have used every event as a platform to compete, and they will use the awards to see who is better than the other. The two
recently released their albums, The People’s Rapper and Intwana kaManax, respectively on the same day. Whether the move was by coincidence or intentional, the
two rappers know better, but to fans it was an opportunity for a contest.

Both artistes had a good run last year with their tracks Banjalo Abantu and Mambo. Cal_Vin’s Banjalo Abantu was nominated in the song of the year category, but
unfortunately Asaph’s Mambo missed out on the nomination despite topping charts on national radio stations and regional radio stations for months.

This year’s edition of the awards will be held at the ZITF after selling out the Large City Hall.

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