UNITED Kingdom-based songstress, Busi Mhlanga, has released a single titled ‘Graceland’ which was inspired by Grammy Award-winning American singer Paul Simon’s 1986 hit.
The song, produced by a British Ghanaian called Frank Nero, is a follow-up to her 2017 album ‘Ngiyakhumbula.’ It featured United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean drummer Jesumin Moyo with the South Africa-born pair of Prudence Jezile and Sisa Mtwana providing the backing vocals.
Busi, a former lead vocalist in Albert Nyathi’s Imbongi Arts Productions, said she decided to do her own interpretation of the legendary hit song after touring Europe in 2018 as part of London African Gospel Choir doing cover versions of songs on Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’ album.
“I always wondered what sort of place Graceland was. As a result I came up with this imagination and composed a song on what I think Graceland really is. For me, Graceland is not actually a place; it is a way of life, a life full of peace, joy, caring and loving one another,” Busi told the Daily News.
The multi-talented singer, traditional dancer and actress is convinced that she has dropped the song at a very opportune time.
“Look at the violence taking place in Nigeria which has claimed the lives of over 50 civilians. War and violence should not be in people’s minds. The killings, fighting, violence and backstabbing of one another starts from the mind and these negative thoughts then become actions.
“These wars consuming the world should stop! That is why I am inviting people to join my imaginary Graceland-a place of joy, peace, caring and love,” said the veteran singer.
Queen of Abenguni, as the songstress is popularly known, ventured into the arts in 1992 as the lead vocalist for Bulawayo’s first Female Troop, Umhlathuzi, which was under the mentorship of the internationally acclaimed imbube outfit Black Umfolosi. In 1995 she began a five-year stint as the lead vocalist of Albert Nyathi’s ensemble.
“I learnt a lot from Nyathi and got a lot of opportunities and recognition during my time in his group. I left in 2000 to pursue a solo career in Denmark. I then relocated to the United Kingdom where I have been based for about two decades.