Phila Madlingozi was born in Johannesburg and grew up in Port Elizabeth. He made his acting debut earlier this year on the second season of the award winning SABC 1 drama series, Intersexions, playing the character of Zolile- a marketing student from the Eastern Cape who falls in love with a girl back at home though he has a girlfriend in the city. But he isn’t just an actor; he writes music; sings; raps; dances and he is currently learning how to produce films.
“Being different is very hard. Being you is very risky. You have to get into a mask before you leave the house.”
Phila says with conviction that his first love is music and being the son of the legendary singer, Ringo Madlingozi, and MXO’s nephew, this does not come as a surprise. “I loved music from a while ago. I grew up in the late 80’s, early 90’s- it was the RnB era. I was surrounded by elders who were listening to RnB artists like Keith Sweat, Brian McKnight and Usher. [Singing] was cool from a young age so I learned how to do it and music is in my family so it wasn’t that hard to transition into music,” Phila says. Though he tours and performs with his uncle, he still hasn’t worked with his father. “I think I have to be ready to work with my dad. I just feel like I’m not at the level that I need to be to work with someone who has done what he has done……I want a collaboration with him, not a Ringo Madlingozi song with Phila.”
“I will fill up an arena like Rihanna one day”
Phila says he wants to go into the industry as if he was the first, just like his father was the first generation. “…before him there was no one like an uncle or father…he was the first to do it. I am gonna go into it like him, as if I am the first in my family to go into it. Start from scratch.”
“I have an undying loyalty to hip-hop because it gave me the courage to go on stage. When I was growing up, I sang a lot and singing is not masculine.”
Phila refuses to box himself in. He says he just wants to be an entertainer and is constantly attempting to expose himself to different types of entertainment. The Film and TV Production graduate is currently attending dance classes and also learning how to play some instruments- talk about a jack of all trades.
“Entertainment is the most important thing after health and education.”
There is no doubt that this ambitious young man is destined for great things. With all the talent and drive that he possesses, he is going to leave his mark in the entertainment industry. This 24-years-old powerhouse’ main focus is currently on music, but for those who love his acting, do not despair, he will be appearing on our television screens soon, although he would not disclose what the name of the show is. Keep an eye out.
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For Phila’s music check out:
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