Nov 19, 2021

THEMBA's 'Modern Africa' Exclusive Mix & Interview

Today we’re celebrating with THEMBA, who’s fresh off the release of his debut artist album.  Perfect for listening to at home, 'Modern Africa, Pt 1 – Ekhaya' transports listeners into THEMBA’s past, present, and future, as he brings his culture and heritage into modern day with seven special tracks. Read on to learn more about his inspiring message of hope and enjoy his commemorative Exclusive Mix!
THEMBA, thanks so much for joining us to celebrate your new album! Can you discuss your decision to name your album Modern Africa? How do the tracks on the album reflect this title?
Thanks for having me! I’m an African and every time I tell someone I’m from Africa they always have misconceptions about it. So the title is about the Africa I live in. It's modern, yet deeply rooted in my culture and heritage. The music is me asking myself how the music that Hugh Masekela, Fela Kuti and other great Africans would have sounded sonically in the present day. 
As an artist, where did you draw inspiration from over the past year and half? What was it like without a dancefloor to test your music on during the pandemic and connect with fans across the world? Did this influence the type of music on the album at all?
The music on the album is not club music at all. It's a home listening album. Over the past few summers, I’ve lived in Ibiza and have been inspired by the downtempo “chill” music that you hear all across the island, so I wanted to bring my own African flavour to it using inspiration from the African greats I grew up listening to.
In previous discussions about the album, you’ve mentioned that its purpose is “To inspire the next African kid and show them what’s possible when you embrace yourself and your heritage.” Can you talk some more about this message?
The biggest commodity in Africa right now is hope! The entire continent strives for a better day and the best way to encourage anyone of a better day and a better life is through giving people hope. South Africa is the furthest point on the African continent and to have someone from there make it in Europe or America is truly inspiring and raises hope that “so can you.”
The musicians, singers, and collaborators on this album all stand out and have their own special story, but what was one collaboration that you really enjoyed, and why? 
I honestly enjoyed all of them and I think the songs are all very different and have different messages. There’s seven tracks on the album, so each of them is special and there are no filler tracks on the album.
Are there any tracks that you have mapped to be played at specific times in a set – such as an opening or closing track?
I use the interlude to “Sound Of Freedom” to sometimes open or close my sets. I think coming out of Covid lockdowns and still living with its consequences, the message of the sound of freedom is super strong.
How do you envision the electronic music scene developing in South Africa over the coming years as well as the growing influence of African music on the global electronic music landscape? 
The only way is up. There are so many up and coming producers and DJs who are pushing the boundaries whilst still bringing out the soul of Africa in the music. It's truly exciting times for the African Continent.
THEMBA's album 'Modern Africa, Pt 1 – Ekhaya' is available to download/stream on your platform of choice today:
Connect with THEMBA: Spotify | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
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Full tracklist info available at Themba - 1001Tracklists Exclusive Mix 2021-11-19
Chelsea Como & Jacko Flames (Enoo Napa Remix) Artwork
Chelsea Como & Jacko - Flames (Enoo Napa Remix) MOBLACK
12 system
2 Pre-Save 2
3 Pre-Save 3
2 Pre-Save 1
Wheeler Del Torro I Want To Try Again (FNX Omar Remix) Artwork
Wheeler Del Torro ft. Nuzu Deep - I Want To Try Again (FNX Omar Remix) DOG DAY RECORDINGS
4 system
Save 1
Francis Mercier & Magic System Premier Gaou (Nitefreak Remix) Artwork
Francis Mercier & Magic System - Premier Gaou (Nitefreak Remix) SPINNIN' DEEP
8 system
Save 1
&lez - Leave My Shadow
4 FABO87 (931)
Vanco & Black Motion Memeza Artwork
Vanco & Black Motion ft. Xelimpilo - Memeza ALGRA
5 system
2 Pre-Save 2
Phil Collins In The Air Tonight (Themba Edit) Artwork
Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight (Themba Edit) ATLANTIC (WARNER MUSIC)
3 system
Pre-Save 2
Themba Sound Of Freedom (Damian Lazarus Re-Shape) Artwork
Themba ft. Thakzin - Sound Of Freedom (Damian Lazarus Re-Shape) ARMADA
16 system
Save 2
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