5 minutes with Ntsika


Musician Ntsika Ngxanga chats to us about launching his solo career and new debut album, I Write What I Dream and his SATMA award nomination. By Kwanele Mathebula

Image: Ntsika IG

I knew from a young age that I would be a solo artist. When I was six years old, I had a dream where I was on stage singing with a band. So, when I was 15, my brother Master P and I, together with Buhle and former member Samthing Soweto formed The Soil. We went on to release albums and work on our music. Last June, I started having the same dreams I did when I was six. But at the beginning of this year, the group met and we decided not to release an album. I then decided to use this opportunity to pursue my solo career.

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The songs on my album are aged. All 14 songs are from a time when I didn’t exist. They have a nostalgic feeling; my fans will be transported to the time of being back home with their families. I call it African soul pop with a deliberate influence of traditional folk. The songs are inspired by my dreams; I dream of the song and sometimes the visuals of me performing it. Sometimes my ancestors are also in the dreams, and they sing them. As soon as I wake up, I head to my home studio to do pre-production on them. So, it took me 10 days to record the album because I had started ahead. This is why it is titled I Write What I Dream.

My favourite song on the album is Suka. This is because it will resonate with a lot of people. It reminds me of musician Ringo Madlingozi, whom I’ve admired for a long time. And just like his songs, it has a double meaning. It talks about the dynamics of a couple preparing to go to work, but one of them wants to have sex before heading out. Mwelase is also a favourite because I wrote it for my late aunt. Whenever I sing it, I am taken back to when I first heard that she had died.

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This album is opening my world to the world. It is going to reveal my private life because not much is known about my wife, siblings and two children. Although I like keeping my life private, I am excited to share my family with the world through my music. I wrote the song Andiva for my wife, and it is about how much I love her.

Scoring a SATMA award nomination is a career highlight. Finding out that I was nominated as best newcomer artist at this year’s South African Traditional Music Awards was humbling. It still feels surreal because my album has only been out for a few months. I appreciate the warmth with which it has been received.