Album Review – Busiswa ‘Highly Flavoured’ (South Africa, 2017)

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Busiswa is a well-established entertainer and even boasts a collabo with one of the greatest African musicians to do their thing: Zimbabwe’s Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi. That should tell you something about this lady’s talent and repertoire. Busiswa is a vivacious and gifted musician that has graduated from the early days of songs like ‘Ngoku’ which was my introduction to her music. Her style has become far more diverse than back then. As the first full length project from Busiswa I am listening to, I didn’t know what exactly to expect and that is usually a good thing. 





Highly Flavoured opens up with the catchy Bazoyenza where Busiswa teams up with producer par excellence by the way of DJ Maphorisa. You probably know of the damage that was done by these two on Midnight Starring. Bazoyenza will get you Nayi Le Walking, Gwara Gwararing and Voshoring until your feet tire, honestly. This is simply Gqom at its danceable best. I’m typing this while moving to the beat in my chair so ya…

One of the songs of the album for me is Nonke which I could describe as a mid-tempo afro-house track where with some impressively layered vocals. The afro-centric singing struck a chord with me and I would love to hear Busiswa on this tip a lot more. After hearing Drop and ReWhine, it’s safe to say that a Busiswa and DJ Maphorisa collabo album would be one for the history books. There is so much chemistry in the booth between them that a project like that will likely be a game changer. Please consider!

Ingqondo was the surprise track on this offering for me. Firstly, it was released in 2016 as a single so I didn’t expect to see it included on this project. The kwaito and afropop-inspired track sent shivers down my spine with how much it changed the flow of this album while Busiswa sang in a way that is not typically her style yet she did it so well. From a personal standpoint I know this one will make my regular 2018 playlist. It embodies Busiswa’s musical growth. The song sounded full with her vocals sitting right in the middle of the mix… totally my style! As if that wasn’t enough, Bad Galz featuring Moozlie is another track that is on a different trajectory and this one leans more towards a certain kind of Afrobeats and Dancehall fusion. Definitely one of the most well-worked songs on the album.

Busiswa’s style is not easy to define. There is a mixture of spoken word, poetry, singing and rap in her delivery then the music itself is very danceable crossing mostly between house and gqom. I think what makes Busiswa unique is her energy. When she graces a track, she takes it up a notch and that is why her talents come well recommended in the industry. No wonder she is part of some of the most loved hits in the last couple of years. As a musician, she has a lot of weapons in her arsenal making her style unpredictable and spontaneous. That is why this album is indeed Highly Flavoured with tonnes of variety to work with. 

I hope to see a huge push in marketing for this project because I feel she has the songs, image and persona to rule 2018. Some music videos in early 2018 would kickstart this machine. Busiswa is very confident in the way she carries herself which I admire. I know she currently has a bun in the oven (congrats Busiswa!) so 2018 will be a very interesting year for her both musically and personally. Totally queening. There is plenty to look forward to from her.

Highly Flavoured is a must-get album!

Tracks to look out for: Drop and ReWhine, Syashelela, Nonke, Bad Galz, Bazoyenza, Ingqondo



Buy Busiswa’s Highly Flavoured here

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