Wandile Mbambeni Chats About His New EP, Maturation

Press shots by Marlon Du Plooy

Wandile Mbambeni who is know for his magnetic stage presence and the dreamlike atmosphere he creates with his music. He first appeared on our radar with the release of his single, Lovers Like You. In April 2017 he released his brand new EP, entitled Maturation and we caught up with him to chat about his new release.

Wandile – before Maturation EP, you have also released your debut EP Homegrown and then an acoustic debut album, Good Intentions. Why the decision to now release an EP again as opposed to an album?
An EP is the best way to express a moment of Maturity; for this EP, my hunger for growth and maturity in my sound were my two main inspirations to release a new offering of music.

For Maturation you kept your beautiful raw sound, but you now perform with a full band. When you wrote Maturation, did you write the new music with this in mind? Why the decision to move from solo performer to performing with a full band?
Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I needed the sonic dynamics to express a little more what I was trying to say in Maturation. Teamwork makes the dream work anyway.

You have made it known that authenticity in your music is one of the most important aspects for you. What does authenticity mean to you and how do you incorporate it into your music?

Haha yes, well it is simply honesty. Honest in each and every written word and chord progression, honest in every bridge and intro, honest all round. I’ll always fall in love with this, soul. 

Wandile by Marlon Du Plooy

What music did you grow up listening to which inspired you to become a singer/songwriter, and do they still inspire you today? What else do draw inspiration from when it comes to songwriting? 
Yes, it’s as if my inspirations collaborated together and made me what I am. I grew up listening to Oliver Mtukudzi, Brenda Fassie, Mandoza, Mdu, Ringo Madlingozi, Stimela, Hugh Masekela. I draw inspiration from art and how it is expressed. That is probably my biggest inspiration.

You mentioned that for Maturation you mixed classical music together with jazz for a timeless offering. What history do you have in classical and jazz music and why these two genres specifically?

To be honest I don’t have any history. I just listened to a lot of classical music and jazz in the past two years. I love how really dark, emotional, meaningful yet so simple classical music is, it has a lot of how I hear my emotions. Jazz has a lot of how I feel, my emotions. Jazz is the dictionary of music. 

What is next after Maturation for you?

 Maturation Music Videos & Maturation Film. I have a Redbull EP to release and then I’ll keep everything else secret from here 🙂


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