Kwini Kuza (Lasandra Majola, Saiyan Naidoo, Sabian Singh, Neo Mooi, Entle Mdletshe, Siphokazi Gebashe) recently released ‘Speed Of Light’ which was produced by Marc JB who has worked with Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and more. We chat to the whizz-kids about their early success and balancing music with schooling.
What is the origin of the band’s name and how did the group come together?
Sabian: The name is from the members being from Durban (eThekwini) and Stanger (KwaDukuza). So we took Kwini from eThekwini and Kuza form KwaDukuza and made Kwini Kuza. We were playing in different projects, I was a solo performer, Saiyan and Sabian were playing together in Stanger and Neo, Entle and Sipohkazi were playing at their school. Our manager found us all and put us together.
When did you guys begin your interest in crafting music and when did that evolve into actually starting a band and pursuing this as a career?
Lasandra: We all started very young, myself, Sabian and Saiyan all started when we were 4 years old. Neo, Entle and Siphokazi started at 9 years old. We do it for fun so it’s not necessarily a career yet, but we have done things professional groups do like TV and radio performances.
What grades are you at school and how do you find a balance between schooling and the music?
Saiyan: We all do well at school, we have to in order to stay in the band, our parents make sure of that. Most of us have been playing music our whole school careers so we are quite used to balancing school and music.
Some parents are apprehensive when their children let them know they’d like to pursue a career in music. How has the support of your parents been through this journey?
Entle: Our parents are very supportive and proud of what we do. They guide us and are at all of our shows and they all came with us on our promotional tour of Johannesburg.
What would you say is the biggest challenge of being so young in an industry which can sometimes take its toll on those within it?
Neo: It can be tiring doing the promotion. Sometimes TV and radio shows start early in the morning and we have to wake up early, but that is part of the music industry and we are given time to have breaks and rest.
At such a young age you’ve achieved a lot some of your seniors in the industry could only dream of. One of those achievements is having Marc JB who has worked with the likes of Janet Jackson and Kanye West produce your latest track. How did you achieve that?
Siphokzi: Our manager has worked with Marc JB so he asked him if he would be willing to produce our next single. Marc saw a video of us and was very impressed and said he would love to produce the song. We were very excited!
The track called ‘Speed Of Light’ also has a music video to accompany it. Tell us what track and its accompanying music video is about?
Lasandra: The track is about meeting someone and falling for them immediately. The music video tells a story about that theme where two people meet at a party and instantly like each other.
What else can we expect from Kwini Kuza for the rest of the year. Are there any plans for an album or an EP?
Saiyan: We have just completed a promo tour to Joburg so we are taking a break for a few weeks and then we will start doing some shows at the end of August again. We hope to do another promo tour to either Joburg or Cape Town in October. We would like to record an album but that will only happen next year when we have enough songs to record.
Watch the music video for ‘Speed Of Light’ below.
All images courtesy Hart Media