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[LISTEN] Nduduzo Makhathini: a musician who doesn't want to be categorised

Nduduzo Makhathini is an award-winning musician whose last album 'Music is King' was a collaboration with DJ Black Coffee.

The pianist and composer has been called a 'torchbearer' for young South African jazz musicians, but tells Phemelo on Weekend Breakfast that he doesn't want to be boxed into a music genre.

The last time I did a workshop... the students were asking what do you call your music... I said, the best description for now is 'our music'.

Nduduzo Makhathini, Musician

If we don't allow definitions to evolve, they become problematic...

Nduduzo Makhathini, Musician

It has to do with what the music is trying to capture, our intentions that are embedded in our sound. As soon as these intentions evolve, the music cannot be boxed in.

Nduduzo Makhathini, Musician

Makhathini says although he retains the playfulness of his childhood, maturing into a man in the particular society created in South Africa has changed him.

He comes from a Christian background, but has developed his own cosmology and believes music springs from a universal source.

Bringing a song to the universe or this side of the world, has to do with a kind of alertness - I believe music is constantly there...

Nduduzo Makhathini, Musician

If anything were to be composed, it's our being - we compose and de-compose our being in order to be able to receive this music from wherever it comes from...

Nduduzo Makhathini, Musician

He sees staying aligned with this available 'reservoir' of music in all the worlds he imagines it springs from, as a huge responsibility.

It includes the realm of his ancestry, which he says is also constantly evolving.

Lately I see it as a kind of technology - the codes we need to tap into it change every day.

Nduduzo Makhathini, Musician

The greatest teacher of all, says Makhathini, is the universe itself.

I'm really inspired by change and how we follow change and that we don't create change. Change is there - it's a cosmic force, just like the weather conditions.

Nduduzo Makhathini, Musician

If we pay enough attention to what's happening around us we can be able to produce good music

Nduduzo Makhathini, Musician

For more of this fascinating conversation with Nduduzo Makhathini, listen below:


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