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Durban’s Pop Baby: The rise of Khumbulani “Khumz” Mbatha

Musa Mbambo

Deeply influenced and inspired by the likes of Usher Raymond and Chris Brown, Khumz Mbatha utilises ‘Durban’s Hall Of Skills’ most artists are known for. A true enthusiast of POP & RnB, Khumz’ career started at an astonishingly young age.

With the sad passing of both his vocally talented parents, It is there Khumz started to consider music as a career. He then joined a rap group in high school called Fresh Blood which gained popularity amongst his peers and teachers but unfortunately split as a result of sharing an uncommon vision.

He then went on to pursuing his solo career and was taken in by one of Umlazi’s biggest Producer, Sbu ‘Plan B’ Gumede who went on to produce on off Khumz’s hottest singles titled- Boity. This song Kickstarted Khumz’ career and he started performing at well-known places such as Eyadini and Maxis Lifestyle. Not long after that he was signed to one of Durban’s Most Popular Record Labels the WolfPack X.

Who is Khumbulani Mbatha?

“I had I to ask myself this question! Khumbulani Mbatha, actually “KHUMZ” is a young artist, a South African new born, an uMlazi baby finding his way to the music kitchen of solid food… (laughs). I’m the newspaper that everyone should wake up for every morning because I’ve always got something worth a fresh ear or eye”.

What triggered your ambition as an artist?

“Both my parents were vocal musicians, they actually met in a choir and it’s been something I’ve grown to inherit. So it became my ambition. My mission is to fulfil the musical dream of my parents”.

If you had to give credit to one individual that made you who you are today, who would it be?

“Without any disregard to those around me, I’d give that credit to myself. Because at many instances, I was left with personal decisions that determined where I will be in life, hence where I am today”.

POWER PORTFOLIO

You were once a member of Fresh Blood Music before joining  the WOLF PACK, I understand you had internal reasons of leaving the crew. If you were to rejoin the ex-crew, what wolf pack qualities would you bring to FBM?

“To be brief, misunderstandings within the crew led to our split up, couldn’t land on a common conclusion of things. But if I had to rejoin the crew, which is dramatically impossible (grins), I would bring forward the quality of communication and commitment”.

Working with known icons such as Aewon Wolf and Scetchy Bongo, what made them say, “Khumz is the one to pump into the industry?”

“Besides talent, it was my story that gave Aewon Wolf and Sketchy Bongo the urge to work with me”.

Mfo ka Mbatha, name one value that sustains the unity amongst the Wolf Pack and could be a great resource to other record labels?

“Independence! One of the most important values of the Wolf Pack is the embedding of independence onto an individual, unlike these other record labels who spoon-feed progress into artists and never let them know how things are done”.

What has been your greatest achievement within the music industry?

“My greatest achievements… Well, first one has to be performing in two fully seated stadiums alongside Justin Bieber on his Purpose World Tour. The second one being my recent collabo’ with Distruction Boyz”.

CHOOSING OPTIMISM

There are international investors out there seeking artists within your genre.  What skills distinguish you from the rest of the new faces of 2019?

“Besides that I sing, dance and rap, I’m at a point where I want to reach the pinnacle. I feel as if my drive, together with my talent is what will put me aside from anyone else in 2019”.

Khumz, you are aware that every artist has a personal rival in the music game. Which well known artist do you feel is wearing your rightful crown today in SA?

“No one is my rival per say, they might feel that way about me because they’re doing well but they are never considered as competition because I feel that there is a crown, reserved only, and waiting for me out there”.

What criteria of work should every artist within your musical genre produce within their music?

  • You gotta be dope! Not dope as an understatement but dope…at it and not just be ok.
  • The quality of music you release should be high and clean at all times.
  • You need to have charismatic attributes when delivering a piece of your art.
  • Make sure to have a unique sound that your fans can identify you by, the moment they hear your song. For instance; a tag or a phrase.
  • Commitment

IN THE PIPELINE

What should SA expect from Pop artist Khumbulani Mbatha in 2019 and beyond?

“SA should expect surprises from Khumz. You never know what’s gonna come out from me. It could be Pop, Qgom, Hip Hop or RnB, you name it”.

Let’s take a peep inside your dreams; Name two international artists you are ambitious to collaborate with?

“The two international artists that I’d love to work with are Chris Brown and Scott Storch. I feel like these artists have done so much in this particular path that I’m following and both have gotten up from so many downs in their respective careers. It would be a great experience to work with these two”.

Any heads-up you would offer to the future KHUMZ?

“The advice that I’d give my future self is to keep your head up boy and know that PAIN is our strength and STRUGGLE is our victory”.

Khumz has warmed up the stage for JUSTIN BIEBER’sPurpose World Tour in South Africa, where he performed to a crowd of 60 000 people in Johannesburg and 70 000 people in Cape Town. He has also shared stage with the likes of AKA, CASSPER NYOVEST, NASTY C, DANNY K AND DAVIDO. Within a short period of time in the music industry, Khumz has managed to work with artists such as RIKY RICK, BIG STAR JOHNSON and GOLDEN BLACK, yet aiming to reach even greater heights. Hamba Khumz!

 

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