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Photo by: Mthakathi
Photo by: Mthakathi
Photo by: Mthakathi
Photo by: Mthakathi
Photo by: Mthakathi
Photo by: Mthakathi
Singer/songwriter, guitarist, and producer Mthakathi conjures up music that is undeniably and unflinchingly rock, but belies a more unique and prismatic world sensibility. Drawing from a career-spanning immersion in South African culture, Mthakathi's music reflects a keen absorption of eclectic world elements that explore expression beyond borders. In short, it is, as one fan put it, "world music on jet fuel." An innovative songsmith, compelling lyricist, arresting guitarist, and a spellbinding performer, Mthakathi the "magic man," is a rock artist of world citizenry, one who defies the confines of simple categorization and smudges the boundaries of culture, genre, and time.

Equally at home "clicking" in a traditional Xhosa song in rural South Africa as he is unleashing a scorching Strat solo in a NYC club, Mthakathi began his rock/world fusion adventurism touring and recording with many notable African artists in both Africa and the US. The development of his signature, cross-pollinating style - combining diverse cultural elements to create music that is mesmerizingly unique and magically universal - eventually earned him his endearing Zulu name by his South African musical family.

In 2008, Mthakathi released his first solo LP “Ownership” under his alias “Ema.” Recorded in his home state of New Jersey and in South Africa, Ownership is a fiery 12-song, multi-culti mashup of finely crafted rock, vibrant African infusions, and magnetic storytelling. The album features a host of veteran African and American musicians who have logged recording and touring stints with artists ranging from rock legends Paul Simon, Sting, and the Rolling Stones to South African luminaries Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, and Johnny Clegg.

The breakout single and video "Jozi" was deemed "a tribute to all things beautiful" by radio host Angela Ludik of Jo'burg's Radio 2000, and Donald Paul, editor of Cape Town's The Big Issue, proclaimed, "The wizardry, very apparent on this album, proves it's been a worthwhile journey."

Continuing with his “World Music on Jet Fuel” reputation, Mthakathi has put together a fierce new band and has begun recording a new EP. Both the band and the new music promise to unleash an explosive brand of Afro/Rock synergy like never heard before.

The journey continues…
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