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Friday, May 27, 2022
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The Soil – “Incredible Rhythm Voices”

The Soil determined to fuse their voices to deliver melodic and harmonious rhythms that are aimed at uplifting and healing souls around the world. The group consist of three incredible rhythm voices from Soweto that were revealed ten years ago been Buhlebendalo Mda, Luphindo Ngxanga and Ntsika Fana Ngxanga.

The supper well known acapella group will now be representing South Africa in the APOLLO WORLD MUSIC INSTITUTE which is a festival that celebrates

the best of African musician by providing a rare chance to hear some of the hottest stars live at the World Famous Apollo festival.


Although the trio do things together they also have their own life on which Spotlight had a chance to talk to them hearing what's going on in their live and what they are up to hear what each have to say about their journey as individuals also as a group.


Spotlight: When and why did you start playing? And how did you achieve this career?

PHINDO: We started in high school, back then we had the love for music and we use to eat, sleep and breathe music.
BUHLE: We all started in high school, Tetelo in Soweto and at that time there
were more than 20 of us just hanging out in the corridors during break time singing together.

NTSIKA: It started in Tetelo Secondary School, Soweto in 2004. We used to gather every Fridays for jam sessions not knowing that The Soil seed was being planted.

Spotlight: What was the first tune(s) you learned? Why did you choose to play this kind of music?

PHINDO: Most of ringo's songs, and back then we didn't have funds to buy instruments so we kept on singing acappela music.
BUHLE: We sang a lot of Sophiatown style music and I was especially attracted to
the likes of Ringo, mam’Mirriam Makeba and mam’Busi Mhlongo, they influenced The Soil sound and my taste a lot.
NTSIKA: A lot of old school music because we were drawn to how brilliant it sounded and allowed us to play around with it. It reminded us of what our parents had gone through and what their lives was when they were our age.

Spotlight: How was your childhood when growing up and what did you want to be when growing up?

PHINDO: I was just everywhere as a child doing sports any kind you can imagine, and when I grew up I wanted to travel the world explore and experience the world.
BUHLE: I had an amazing childhood, I have a big family so there was always someone around me at all times that is why I relate to people so easily. My family keeps me going and the things they taught me from when I was a little girl, I still nurture and take with me everywhere I go. I have always wanted to be a musician or anything in the creative world.
NTSIKA: My brother and I have the best family structure; they love and support us through and through so our childhood always had great moments and fun times.

Spotlight: Describe your family member's musical interests and abilities?

PHINDO: My mom she is a singer, my dad a piano player and my brothers are vocalist.
BUHLE: We all enjoy singing just like a lot of families during celebrations etc, my sister is an amazing vocalist though.
NTSIKA: Everyone in the family has a link to the music industry, my brothers all have vocal abilities that surprise everyone because I’m usually the one that sings, my dad is a pianist and my mom is also a vocalist.

Spotlight: Which famous musicians’ do you admire / learned from? Who are your favourite musicians or Groups?

PHINDO: Oliver Mtukudzi, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masikela.
BUHLE: First and foremost, Ladysmith Black Mambazo which we featured in the
latest album (yay), they are our biggest inspiration, Mam’Busi Mhlongo and obviously mam’Mirriam Makeba.
NTSIKA: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Mahotela Queens, Soul Brothers, Johnny Clegg just
to name a few. The most recent one is definitely Sam Smith, his vocals are amazing.

Spotlight: If you had to do it all over again, would you still choose this career / Would you do anything differently?

PHINDO: Yes I would choose the same cadres and I would not change anything.
BUHLE: Of course, God would not place me here if my destiny was elsewhere.
NTSIKA: Yes, over and over and over again I would choose music, this is what I have always dreamt of and seeing it become a reality is really surreal.

 Spotlight: What are your fondest musical memories, in your house, in your neighbourhood or town?

PHINDO: Singing alongside the Mahotela Queens at the Africa music festival in Newtown.
BUHLE: WOW! Let me think, for me it has to be BUSHFIRE FESTIVAL IN SWAZILAND last year. There were people from all corners of the globe... and the music just spoke one language to them.
NTSIKA: When we performed at Apollo Theatre last year, that was an experience to
never forget, the show was also sold out so that made it even more special.

Spotlight:  Were you influenced by old records & tapes, which ones? And besides playing music what else do you do?

PHINDO: I was influence by James brown. I am a professional photographer and I do that when I'm not singing.
BUHLE: Brenda Fassie and mam’Busi Mhlongo, besides playing music I nurture my beautiful daughter and also working on an exciting project that will be revealed very soon.
NTSIKA: Yes, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and The Soul Brothers. I also do behind the scenes work within the music industry; my studio at home has created some magic which I hope to release to the rest of the world very soon.

Spotlight: Do you have kids, Partner or does thought of getting married come to your mind?

PHINDO: I don't have kids and yes I have a partner that I love so much and one day I would like to marry.
BUHLE: Yes, I do have a daughter and a loveliest partner but right now marriage is not something I am planning for a near future.
NTSIKA: Yes, I have two kids, a son and the newest addition to family which is a daughter, I also have a wife so yes marriage has come to mind.

Spotlight: Do you get nervous before a performance and how do you handle mistakes during performance?

PHINDO: Yes I get nervous because it's never the same crowd for every event. During performances we improvise and that's awesome.
BUHLE: I do get nervous but with The Soil we feed off each other’s energy and end
up improvising a performance when a mistake was made. We don’t really consider these mistakes a bad thing though unless the mistake is made by
the sound technician.

NTSIKA: We all get nervous but once you’re on that stage it just flows seamlessly, you even forget that you’re singing in front of a crowd because you’re having so much fun with the moment.

Spotlight: What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous or someone who what to start a career in music?

PHINDO: Stay focused, do everything for right reason and success will come your way.
BUHLE: Know what you want and understand who you are before diving into the industry.
NTSIKA: Trust yourself, your abilities and gather all the necessary information to learn about your craft and build a good support base so that you are able to make things happen with the support of people that believe in your product just like Native Rhythms believed in us.

Spotlight: How do you feel about the dairy milk advertisement and are you benefiting from the ad?

PHINDO: It's too nice, it's ahead of its time and I love it... And yes we are benefiting with royalties from the ad.
BUHLE: It’s the best!! My daughter and her friends love it and are always singing “Joy” so it warms my heart and acts as a benefit of sorts.
NTSIKA: I cannot begin to express how amazing it is to have our music used by such a big brand; they flew us all the way to the UK to create the commercial. We are actually the triplets in the ad because we had to program their facial expressions and movements ourselves using very complex technology but that was a moment we will never forget.

Spotlight: Since you will be performing in New York, how long you will be there and where specifically will you be performing?

The Soil: We think for 4 days and will be performing in Harlem APPOLLO theatre.

Spotlight: Who is your producer and how are your albums doing until the current?

The Soil: We worked with Mpho Hlahla on pre-production and Sthembiso Twala on the
final production. Our album is currently sitting on number one everywhere! “Laughing“

Spotlight: What is a typical day / week like for you, And what project are working on now?

PHINDO: Performances during the week and interviews.
BUHLE: We do a lot of things, mostly interviews and travelling to gigs, so we are either on the road, behind a camera lens or on stage.
NTSIKA: Prayer always starts my day off then everything else follows, I am either
at a gig, doing an interview, babysitting or in studio with other artists making more music.

Spotlight: How do you balance your music with other obligations - mate, children, family and work?

PHINDO: I make time for every one especially after doing music.
BUHLE: I have a very supportive family so they always help in any way they can and whenever I have an off day I spend every minute with them especially
my daughter, partner, sister and parents.

NTSIKA: I have to balance everything in order to have time for my family and they all understand and support me with everything I do and I must say I thank God for such family.


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