Here is Uthingo Le Nkosazana album review! My very first encounter with the impassioned vocal octaves of Nkosazana Daughter was late in December 2021 and at the time, this writer was just a passive listener of soulful Amapiano or Amapiano of any kind. Over a Wanitwa Mos ‘Dali Nguwe’, Nkosazana Daughter had won my ears via her celestial-esque vocal timbres.
The Twenty-Two-year-old South African singer had emitted a powerful skill, one that sounded profoundly pure and sophisticated – the kind to incite an emotive response from even the most dimmed of spirits. Irrevocably, I fell prey to the spell of this sonic enchantress, and every time she sang the catchy chorus lines: “Ungijub, Ungjub, Ungjub, Ungjubale” the ambience felt heavenly. For each sonorous delivery, the world and all its scuffle had gone on a brief excursion- at least in my head.
Dali Nguwe provided Nkosazana Daughter with the right momentum for mainstream success, giving her the much-needed exposure that a talent of her calibre had required to fully bloom.
The song propelled the baby-faced singer to mainstream attention in her hometown- South Africa and consequently became her most-streamed song ( as a solo artist and featured act) – with over eight million streams on Spotify alone.
In 2022, the trio of Wanitwa Mos, Master KG, and Nkosazana Daughter would further bank on their winning formula of fusing soulful house rhythms with log drums and Nkosazana Daughter’s distinct singing style – walking side by side to create yet another soulful sonic masterclass via ‘Sofa Silhanhle’ (subtle pun intended).
The same Winning formula takes charge in her debut full-length body of work ‘Uthingo Le Nkosazana’ but with a more broad canvas of sonic influences and themes to paint from. Courtesy of an exclusive interview with Apple Music, the singer provided insight into the artistic direction of her debut album “In this instance, Uthingo means rainbow, I wanted the album to be like a rainbow, colourful and full of everything”, she said.
And full of everything it was or it tried to be. Nkosazana Daughter’s debut touches on dynamic concepts from love (In Love With A Foreigner) to spirituality (Uzongenzani), to conflict resolution (Empinakazi), to hustle culture (Amazinyo Enada). On ‘Uthingo Le Nkosazana’ she outsourced other contemporary music genres like R&B and Nigerian Afro-Pop (Young Jonn) to add further hue to her already colourful timbre of Amapiano- “I fell In love with Amapiano but I am an artist that does it all” she told Apple Music.
Familiar names of the music subgenre like Kabza De Small, Maphorisa, Wanetwa Mos, Low Sheen, and Murumba Pitch each sunk their tooth into the fleshy makeup of the body of work to give the album the ornamental sonic attributes: soft soulful piano chord progressions, coarse masculine harmonies/ad-libs, melodic log drum bass lines, electronic synths, shakers, cymbals and more.
Nkosazana Daughter enjoys being vulnerable with her art, a unique trait that has aided in her ethereal sonics. She is not some bubblegum pop artist who aims to just make a buck – Nkosazana understands the value of the gift she carries and how important it is to share every raw detail with the World.
This vulnerability is splintered around the whole body of work- showcasing itself in tunes like ‘Amaputha’ a song about undying love. On Amaphutha she is determined to love irrespective of shortcomings, even if such flaws were to be unrequited love, she still sticks like glue.
‘Ring Ring Ring’ however showcases a plot twist in her narrative as the unwavering lover who holds on no matter what- she seems to have had enough of the lacklustre approach, and demands to be loved properly or take her love to someone else who would treat her as the topmost priority she deems herself to be.
In summary, Nkosazana Daughter's Uthongo Le Nkosazana is a beautiful and complete body of work that takes one on a soulful sonic joyride filled with goosebumps and euphoria.