When Kelly Khumalo released The Voice of Africa (TVOA) in October 2020, she released the album as affirmation that she is the Vocal Highness. The album spawned hits such as Nok’khanya, Ngathwala Ngaye, featuring Mondli Ngcobo, Empini and the gospel classic, Esiphambanweni, featuring the legendary Dr Hlengiwe Mhlaba.
The supporting visuals of Esiphambanweni was a live rendition of the gospel hymn, which indicated the possibility of a full-length live experience of TVOA. In September 2021, the 2021 3 x AFRIMMA nominated musician confirmed the release of her wedding anthem, Awazi Lutho (Live). Awazi Lutho was released as the pre-order to the release of the full live-recorded album, The Voice of Africa (Live).
The official release of the live experience comes as the SAMA winner celebrates her birthday with a nationwide tour, Kelly Khumalo’s Birthday Tour, featuring Vusi Nova and Brenda Mtambo. Moreover, the official release of the live album is a celebration of the one-year anniversary since the release of the studio album. The live album showcases Khumalo’s vocal prowess in some of the iconic tracks from the album including the lead single of Undithatha Kancinci (Live), Lashona Nini (Live) and Kunyukela (Live).
Ahead of the official release of the live album Khumalo hosted her closest friend and industry mates to an intimate preview of the supporting live visuals of the album. Premiering at Ster Kinekor in Rosebank, The Zone, the musician showcased, again, why she is The Voice of Africa.
For the public, Kelly Khumalo has made it possible for fans to view the supporting visuals of the live album on Channel O and Mzansi Magic this coming weekend.
The Voice of Africa
The self-proclaimed Voice of Africa, Kelly Khumalo, and her accompanying musicians take the tracks from her 10th studio album into the live realm. Khumalo’s Voice of Africa is a commercial success, with the first single Empini reaching double platinum status. The second single Esphambanweni has been certified gold.
On The Voice of Africa Live Album, which was recorded in front of a live studio audience, Khumalo’s band is given sprawling solos. She delivers spectacular vocal runs and added ad-libs onto the tracks that were originally presented on the 2020 release. On the record, she delves into themes of love and the richness of African history.
The album consists of mostly soul- and kwaito-tinged Afropop inspired by Khumalo’s African heritage. The live album also features experimentation with elements of maskandi and traditional folk music, as well as instances of overt gospel delivery.
Album highlights include the live versions of Empini and Undithatha Kancinci. Khumalo and her band take it to church with Esphambanweni; the track begins with a traditional African church organ riff that sets the tone and is present throughout. Kelly holds nothing back as she and gospel star Hlengiwe Mhlaba take turns in praising and worshipping God in reverence of the sacrifice made on the cross.
Another high note on the album is Kuyanyukela. On the album, Khumalo also deals with the struggles of women globally. She tackles challenges that breadwinners and homemakers face simultaneously.
The other themes Khumalo covers in the material on the album include:
- Issues of betrayal
- Doing away with self-doubt
- Embracing her God-given strength
Khumalo and her band deliver the kind of live performance that does exactly what a live experience is meant to do. It elevates, enhances and enriches the studio versions of the songs presented.
The live album is available across all DSP.