By Grant Moyo
Sticking with the word-perfect crew in the music circles is aiding South African hip hop, rhythm and blues artist Faith Khensani Mashaba, affectionately known as Faith K, to keep up with the best expressive style to fit in and find a suited place in the fast paced ever evolving entertainment industry.
Dedicated to inexhaustibly gratifying masses through creating and delivering relatable musical composition, the multifaceted artist not so long ago dropped her sophomore album titled ‘Nangena’ — a Tsonga word meaning I am going in. The body of work which includes her single Bounce — a precursor to her long hoped-for project that was released last month — exhibits how Faith K has matured as an artist.
The straight-from-the-shoulder hip hop, rhythm and blues artist, who is from Centurion, kicked off her entertainment pursuit hop-skipping from one talent show to another at schools, dancing and going into small recording studios around her neighbourhood without the consent of her family and friends.
While her love for hip hop was influenced by her passion for dancing, she recognises that her father exposed her to a lot of rhythm and blues from a tender age.
Discovered by legendary South African hip-hop head — DJ Dimplez — the versatile musician is one of the few Tsonga female artists who are making waves in the music industry at the moment.
With a couple of studio albums, a sequence of tracks and galore features under her belt — in 2021 Faith K earned acknowledgement for Best Female at the South African Hip Hop Awards (SAHHA), for her work on the eight-track EP (extended play) called K’Loud, pronounced “cloud”.
Having already worked with musical front runners such as rhythm and blues vocalist Thabsie, musical artist pH Raw X, rapper and television personality Nadia Nakai, as well as hip-hop artist Reason, on her fresh-cut album — Nangena — Faith K has worked with notable artists that include musical artists Gigi Lamayne, Zingah, and Money Badoo.
In the 10-track musical composition the hip hop, rhythm and blues artist amicably discloses the inside information of the phases she has been undergoing since the official launch of her K’Loud EP. Her up-to-the-minute new-sprung project speaks about her trip in the midst of a global pandemic (Covid-19), in a sacred way that she hopes audiences will connect to.
The pieces of music on the album such as ‘You’ feature Faith’s fleecy feather-like side as a rhythm and blues artist, while other musical compositions like Midas show a metaphoric expression knockabout side of her as a rapper. Other tracks on the album include Nangena, Basic, Iphi Bag, Ayifambeni, That Chick and Plug.
“My goal was to really hone on my experience from the pandemic and my experiences in general that people would be able to relate to. I hope that when people have a chance to listen to my brand-new album, they’re able to identify with the music,” Faith K said.
Having held back for too long, Faith K’s latest offering is clear testimony of how she has evolved into a bold and unapologetic artist.
Arousing the emotion that is rooted from a pure heart, a lucid sense of right and wrong, and a bona fide faith — the straight-from-the-shoulder musician is vocal about the fight against the discrimination of female artists in the broad-brimmed male dominated music industry.
In the wake of the death of iconic South African rapper, producer, singer-songwriter, and fashion designer Ricky Rick — whom she credits for boosting her niche in the rap scene — Faith K underscored the importance of community engagement to weed out negative circumstances leading to mental illness. She stressed on the need to prioritise the mental well being of South African artists so as to emphatically curb the social ill which continues to wreak mayhem.
Only time will tell if the echoes of her voice and loud cry will be heard, for now the spotlight is on how Nangena will impact audiences and provide a leeway to potential break-out hits that will prevail within and beyond the South African charts.
- Grant Moyo is a prolific writer, innovative media personality, entrepreneur and a creative artist who is passionate about using his creative mind for the betterment of society. Follow him on Twitter: @TotemGrant