Mapetla’s mature new sound

Sharon Mathala

Kwaito legend adds Afro touch

He is not known for a laidback sound. Indeed, he has made his name in the energetic, fast-paced genre of Kwaito where the beats are intense, the music loud and the lyrics colorful.

However, Mapetla’s latest release, ‘Thaba Tshweu’ showcases a depth few would have guessed the artist possessed in his musical arsenal.

Dropped earlier this month, the gentle Afro-pop track is a teaser to Mapetla’s imminent 6th album, set for release this September. Eight years after his last LP ‘Electrified’ took the charts by storm, Mapetla is confident of a similar reception for his new material.

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Judging from the social media frenzy that greeted ‘Thabo Tshweu’, his confidence is well placed.

“I last released an album back in 2012 yes but I have been releasing singles throughout the years as well as feature songs. I have also been working on an album with T.h.a.b.o, a project I have since put on hold because I wanted to focus on my solo career and revive the heights I feel it is destined to be, ” the singer born Thabo Ntirang told Voice Entertainment.

As for the distinct, mature new sound, Mapetla played down any talk of a radical transformation in his music.

“I have always been a versatile artist. If you paid attention to my previous works you will notice I have covered many genres just that the dominating genre was Kwaito. But I have now decided that the people who follow me have grown and their taste has changed and shifted a bit, hence why I felt the need to tap into Afro-pop. But we are not completely abandoning Kwaito and my trademark sound; it will always be the dominant sound!” stressed the youthful veteran, who launched himself into the public domain back in 2005 with the mega-hit ‘Kokota’.

Fast-forward to 2020 and the new Corona-inspired normal, and Mapetla admitted the pandemic has caused frustration and crippling uncertainty in the music industry.

“Covid-19 has affected our plans but we can’t sit back and not do anything. I mean I had to put plans on hold because of travel restrictions and all of that. I could have dropped songs beginning of the year but had to wait because of the uncertainty.”

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The hard-working singer is anxious to make up for the lost time and is putting plans in place for the promotion of another single.

“We want to keep the hype going until the album release,” he explained.

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