ZiyawakaZitha Gives You All Area Access Into A World of Indigenous Swazi Dance Music
Eswatini born and raised sound engineer and producer, ZiyawakaZitha, is a seasoned Southern African music industry professional. Having started his journey in music in 2001 as a young sound engineer; he quickly transitioned into the production world as he sharpened up his skills as a keyboardist and drummer. This shift to production opened up more opportunities for him in the music industry as time went, gaining other professional titles such as vocal couch, music directorship for live event, and this further cemented him as a businessman to look out for in Southern Africa.
With just a few years shy of two decades working in the music industry in different capacities; ZiyawakaZitha has helped shaped the music scene in the Kingdom of eSwatini as we know it, helping artists and producers develop signature sounds that can export to other regions. Eighteen years after he first enter the game, he finally releases his first debut EP titled ‘All Area Access’ — an offering which comes as a result of time, experience and a sublime artistry. On this EP, ZiyawakaZitha lives up to his to name as the body of work is a sonic experience which compels you to dance, let loose and be completely consumed by the music.
Fusing indigenous Swazi folk music with dance music, ZiyawakaZitha displays production craftsmanship in the composition of every track of the EP — he plays in a creative territory which many have not ventured into which speaks to the innovation which the EP carries. The first track, Asambe mntfwanami, featuring Swazi Soul artist, Bholoja, offers the listener an opportunity to take a deep dive into traditional swazi folk music but delivered to you in a very current way; which drum patterns more common in today’s electronic dance music. The second track titled ‘My Help’ is an energy filled six-minuter which is guaranteed to set dance floors alight.
Mabelengwe featuring breakout Swazi singer-songwriter, Sands, is another huge track which sees storytelling take the forefront on groove-centered production pushes the limits of afro house. The fourth track, Mantentelazane, is a cool yet hard-hitting track which you can play if you want lift your mood up — perfect for starting your day with a mindset of winning and attracting good vibes. The last song on EP features highly respected, accomplished and talented singer-songwriter, Velemseni, and it is called ibhasi — a beautiful song about almost missing her bus to Mbabane. Velemseni provides insight into the happenings before she boards her bus and questions herself why she didn’t prepare properly a day before for her trip. She also beautifully depicts the terrain and sights as she journeys and prepares to go on this trip; giving the listener a glimpse of the time of day. Beautiful song and a beautiful way to end this incredible project off. The All Area Access EP is one of those projects that are timeless, progressive and representative of culture of people that offer the world so much artistically.
The EP being released by respected dance music label, Antidote Music, makes this release even more special as who else would be fit to release such a quality body of work which is deeply homegrown. Now that’s beautiful and represents ownership. The Swazi culture is beautifully captured and represented.
Stream the All Area Access EP on Apple Music below.
Stream the All Area Access EP on Traxsource below.
Stream the All Area Access EP Mini Mix below.