‘I am honoured to be nominated among such brilliant musicians,’ said Mashiloane. ‘I released this album to use my music as a tool to tell stories from my South African community. Getting a SAMA nomination encourages me to write more music that is closer to home.’
The album was released in September last year during a time in his career when he wanted to focus on his social and musical identity. Being born in Mpumalanga and living among Ndebele, Pedi and Swazi people before moving to KwaZulu-Natal, Mashilkoane realised each society had its own character and identity.
He says Closer to Home is a product of all the musical dialects and characteristics of the communities he has lived among.
The album features a mix of established musicians, many of whom are UKZN students and alumni such as Kunle Ayo (guitar); Tlale Makhene (percussion); Paki Peloeole, Sbu Zondi and Riley Giandhari (drums); Mbuso Nxumalo. Menzi Cele, and Lwazi Khuzwayo (vocals), Keorapetse Kolwane and Qhubekani Mthethwa. However, young and upcoming musicians are also featured including Thabo Sikhakhane (trumpet) and Thembinkosi Ngcobo (trombone).
‘These musicians all take pride in their identity and are not driven only by their music’s skill impressions but also by relevancy and accuracy.’
Mashiloane’s Amanz’ Olwandle won two Mzantsi Jazz Awards for Best Jazz album while Rotha was nominated for Best Male and won Best Jazz at the prestigious International African Music Awards (AFRIMA).As a lecturer, his focus is to teach and organise live music performances with his students focusing on South African composers.
Mashiloane is currently completing his PhD focusing on South African composers and how their music contributes to the feeling of home.