“Music has always been a part of my life…”
Thembelihle Dladla popularly known as “Sontshikazi” is a versatile vocalist who is a born free in every essence of the word. She was born in September 27, 1994. She was born in Soweto and raised in Tembisa.
The songstress started singing at a tender age of just 6 years old. She then started performing in church at the age of 12 as a lead singer in an acapella group. “Music has always been a part of my life, I’ve always been running away from the calling but then realised that everything else I tried to do wasn’t working out, that’s when I was drawn closer to music more than ever. I didn’t get accepted at school for the course I wanted, I was always in between jobs, till I then decided to adhere to the calling, that’s when everything became clear about the musical path I had to take. And that was in July 2020”, she says.
Each creative have their own creative process- for Sontshikazi, it’s the beat that leads her. “Usually the beat leads me, when listening to a beat I feel different emotions depending on the type of string and keys added to the beat. And at most it just comes to me, then I start writing – then when I go to the studio I implement what I wrote” says Dladla.
The future is bright for Sontshikazi as she has recently worked with a SAMA award-winning producer Vuyo Manyike, who co-produced Sjava’s album umsebenzi. Her biggest musical influences are two of South Africa’s most loved luminaries, the late Brenda Fassie and Lebo Mathosa. She would love to collaborate with Amanda Black, Sjava and Sho Majozi. Sontshikazi would also love to work with renowned producers, SunEL musician and the grammy nominated Black Coffee.
Sontshikazi’s body of work is quite impressive. She has a number of tracks under her belt, such as Siyekeni, Sisebusweni, your time and Ngane just to name a few. In 2021 she dropped The Epitome of Africanism EP.
Her word of encouragement to aspiring musicians is simple and straight to the point: “It won’t be easy, there’s a lot of challenges thus you must be prepared mentally, and emotionally. Be ready for rejection, be ready for the pruning and also trust the process it’s for your growth.
“Most of all Pray”, she says. “More than anything music is a journey, you must be ready to make a lot of sacrifices and defy all odds” Sontshikazi concluded.
By Sinenzolo Mondi