Friday, 31 January saw Ambitiouz Entertainment’s Afro-pop duo, Blaq Diamond’s long-awaited sophomore album, Umuthi debuting at number one nationwide on iTunes after it was available for pre-order since 24 January. Umuthi follows their Inqola album which was released in November 2017.
A week before the album release, the duo released their third single from the album titled Love Letter accompanied by a compelling music video and film featuring actress Mapaseka Koetle-Nyokong. Love Letter did well on YouTube, receiving 200k views and trended number one on YouTube in just two days of its release. With their pre-released songs like Ibhanoyi sitting on over six million views, topping the charts plus being nominated amongst Ukhozi fm’s top 10 songs of the year and Memeza being on over a million YouTube views, it is expected that the album will do wonders in the music industry. The duo had Ibhanoyi tour in 2019 and visited Swaziland, Ladysmith, Nelspruit, Pretoria, Cape Town and Umtata just to name a few.
Although they enjoy writing and producing their own music, on this 13-track album, the SAMA nominated artists worked with various producers. Unlike the first album where they did not feature anyone, Umuthi features stable mates, Sjava and Cici. Maskandi artist Igcokama Elisha and poet Zamo Cofi who all bring unique sounds that complement the vision of the album. With the album, Blaq Diamond introduces a mix of African pop rhythms, plus umbhacanga and mbube harmonies. Each song varies in tone and circle back to one universal theme.Songs like the title track, Lidume, Amehlo Ung’bulalelani and Woza My Love are amongst the most notable songs of the amazing album.
The 25-year-olds who hail from Ladysmith define the journey of the album as an amazing one.
“The title of the album, Umuthi came from the vision behind the project which is to release music that will touch people’s hearts and heal their souls. Umuthi is seen as a plant that is used to create medicine to heal people. We are trying to evolve cultural/traditional music to blend in with the current times & constantly showing that being proud of where you come from as a kid is the coolest thing ever,” said Blaq Diamond.
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