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United States
Influences: African , North American , Caribbean
Genres: south african, maskanda, rock, reggae, mbira, south africa, zimbabwe, world/rock fusion, safro rock, afrobeat
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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 explores expression beyond borders. In short it is, as one fan put it, “world music on jet fuel.” An innovative song-smith, compelling lyricist, arresting guitarist and a spell-binding 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 a.k.a. “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 & magnetic story-telling. The album features a host of veteran African and American musicians who have logged in 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 break-out 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…