Live Mag

5 male musicians on the female artists who inspire them

by: Live Staff - 18 August 2016

Thandiswa-1Mashayabhuqe KaMamba says Busi Mhlongo helped him build his subgenre digital maskandi. Youngsta is inspired by Queen Latifah to rep his city hard. More hot young male musicians like Kimosabe, DJ Fosta, TiMO ODV share the female artists who inspire them below.

Kimosabe on Alicia Keys

(Interviewed by Sabelo Mkhabela)

Alicia is a musician. See, she embraces the very essence of music. I mean you saw what she did at this year’s BET Awards, right? And she’s quite soft-spoken, which is a trait I admire, because I too prefer to let the music do the talking. I see a lot of her in myself. She’s focused.

Favourite albums: The Diary of Alicia Keys, Songs in A Minor and As I Am. All of which I own.

Favourite songs: “Unthinkable”, “In Common”, “Fallin’”, “If I Ain’t Got You”, the list goes on. These are my favourites because of the soul and the instruments – you’ve got to have instruments.


TiMO ODV on Adele

(Interviewed by Sabelo Mkhabela)

Apart from having one of the most amazing voices in the world and an abundance of talent, I’d have to say it’s because she doesn’t care what the rest of the world is doing. What the trends are or what might be expected of her. Instead she does what she loves and what she does best, [which is] writing and performing amazing songs.

Favourite song: “Rumour Has It” from her album 21

RELATED: 10 notable South African female rappers of all time


DJ Fosta on Zonke Dikana

(interviewed by Buhle Lindwa)

I must say I’m inspired by Zonke Dikana, especially her debut album Life, Love and Music. I remember the first time I listened to that album, I was travelling to perform in the UK. It was a 12-hour flight, and I spent half of the 12 hours listening to it. Each and every song had a special message for me. And it was like I was saying the words she had sang about. Even today when I wake up, I still have to play at least one song from that album.

Favourite song: “Jik’Izinto”. That’s my killer song, because I personally believe that with my music, my purpose in life is to turn things around.

Listen to a mix DJ Fosta did for us via Red Bull Amaphiko, here.


Mashayabhuqe KaMamba on Busi Mhlongo and Thandiswa Mazwai

(Interviewed by Andisiwe Ntoni)

That’s kinda tricky, but Mam’ Busi Mhlongo is one of them. Her work helped me build digital maskandi. But Thandiswa Mazwai keeps giving me life. To think that I have a song with her makes my life special. She’s powerful spiritually and you’ll never understand that feeling if you don’t have culture.

Favourite Busi Mhlongo album: Urban Zulu

Favourite Thandiswa Mazwai album: She’s smart and her best work for me is Ibhokwe. I actually love every song in that album.

Favourite song by Busi Mhlongo: “Wakrazulwa” from Amakholwa (The Believers) album made me cry when I first heard it.

Favourite song by Thandiswa Mazwai: Like really loving every track of hers. I used to think “Thongo Lam’” was written for me while still in high school.

Read our 2014 interview with Mashayabhuqe KaMamba, here.


Youngsta on Queen Latifah

(Interviewed by Muneeba Davids)

Aside from being a hip-hop pioneer, she was one of the first few female rappers to get respect from her male competitors. She’s also a very successful business woman and actress.

Favourite album: Black Reign, I think this album was a perfect blend of hip hop and soul. The topics relate to men and women alike, and she is proudly representing where she was from. The album was released in 1993, but you would never say, judging by the production. It’s one of my all time favourite albums.

Favourite song: “Jersey” (which is not on Black Reign). She expresses her love from her hometown so passionately, saying she can’t forget New Jersey and for me being from Cape Town and always giving props to the city, it was inspiring to hear someone so influential do the same about where they’re from. It lets me know I’m on the right path with my music.

Read our list of Youngsta’s best guest verses here


Image of Thandiswa Mazwai by Matthew Zients


Who is your favourite female musician of all time?