Famed for his unique voice, powerful and mesmerizing stage presence, Vusumzi Nongxa – stage name: Vusi Nova – welcomed us to the Muthaland studio’s in Parkview to talk about his personal experiences and his journey in music.
Dressed in a sophisticated suit that shows off his toned physique (and reminds us why he took home the Metro FM Award for the ‘best styled’ artist) the singer/songwriter takes a deep, steady breath to introduce us to his personal life.
Born in Port Elizabeth, Nova was raised by his grandmother and moved to Joburg at the age of 13 to stay with his mother. He says that growing up in P.E – a town literally known as the home of jazz music – his passion for music formed at an early age. Growing up in a neighborhood largely influenced by music also helped Vusi understand its purpose and the role it plays in society. He recalls how he had always wanted to become a renowned singer, “I’ve never had a plan B, it has always been plan A.” That passion for music pushed him to follow all the necessary steps to get his craft as close to perfection as possible.
He has always looked up to his grandmother, whom he says instilled so many values and principles in him on how to be proper gentlemen. Nova’s grandparents were involved in the church choir and they too have had a huge impact on their grandson’s work ethic and success. His mother’s support of his dreams also played an important role in who he has become. “My mom was just a beautiful soul,” he said.
Even though a music career seems to have been a life-long dream, it has taken him so many years for it to become a reality. “People think I started singing yesterday,” he says. But before being signed under Muthaland, Vusi reveals he was signed to EMI records in 2008 and released his first afro-pop album titled Ndimfumene. “I was young and really didn’t know what was going on in the industry, I just sang because people said I have a nice voice,” he adds. His ascent to the top hasn’t been without obstacles. He certainly came across challenges in the music industry and felt as though things were going slowly for him. That is when decided to undergo vocal training with R.J. Benjamin while discovering himself and his full singing potential.
He then released an album titled ‘Walk into Light.’ He says that it was inspired by things that were happening around him. He featured the likes of Moneoa, Ishmael, Vizo from Botswana as well as R.J. Benjamin for powerful and very special rendition of “I’d rather go blind” by Etta James. Nova’s vocal ability has enabled him to capture people’s hearts and it sounds as though he will be doing more of that on his upcoming album that will be called “Did it for Love.” Working with artists like Ifani, Bricks, Kelly Khumalo and Pyro (who is also his producer) on this latest offering, he plans to reveal what he calls “the real Vusi Nova” as well as the younger side of him.
What people do not know about the amazing vocalist is that he is a horse rider, plays polo and is also very shy. Music may help him hide his shyness but what he will not hide is the fact that he is a mommy’s boy as well as how deep he falls when he is in a relationship. “The problem is that I love too much” he says, but regardless of what he deems his weakness, the singer never doubted his talent.
Being nominated for both Metro and SAMA awards has inspired Vusi to work harder because he believes that just being nominated isn’t enough of an accomplishment.
In addition to working on his second album – that might be released this year – Vusi is also involved in the Brenda Fassie Legacy Tour that aims to provide exposure for and continue to build the powerful legacy that pop icon Brenda Fassie left behind. The tour will feature a number of events, such as the release of a 100-minute-long version of the song ‘Weekend Special’ featuring 40 local and international artists as well as a photographic exhibition of Brenda’s life.
Nova confidently believes that two years from now he will be on his way to winning a Grammy award. But most importantly he hopes to fulfill his dream of touching people with his music. That is an ambition his fans would consider to be well within his grasp. The fact that he has remained humble and grounded despite his fame ensures that he is bound to be a great. We can’t wait to see what this promising young star has in store for us.
If you are one of Nova’s adoring fans, you can catch him at the Skyroom Live Urban Session Vol3.0 on the 12th of July where he will be filming a live recording that includes a mixture of his music, a taste of one or two new singles and a tribute to Brenda Fassie.
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