Grammy-Nominated Singer/Songwriter Nathi Gcabashe Uses His Pain & Loss To Inspire & Unite The World
Some people experience deep pain, yet out of that pain, can come the most incredible strength. Grammy Nominated singer/songwriter, Nathi Gcabashe experienced such tragedy during the political events that took place in many parts of the country leading up to the release of Nelson Mandela and the end of apartheid in 1994.
“My father was brutally killed in 1991 in front of our home during the political unrest, police brutality, racial injustice, and the BLACK on BLACK violence conveniently facilitated by the Apartheid Regime. Many native South Africans suffered these injustices from 1948 to 1994.
As a young adult, I also lost my beloved sister to an AIDS-related illness and true to the saying ‘death comes in threes’ I also lost and had to bury my mother as well.
Through all the pain and the loss, music has played a major part in my life and it also became the most dominant vehicle to my healing, as well as, self-development and spirituality.
So this time around I wanted to release my 1st US studio album that would have a positive message of unity using self-development and social awareness as a vehicle.
The title of the new album “Strength” was inspired by the realization that with strength nothing can take you down, and the fact that strength in numbers is exactly what we need now to deal with the pain, the unrest, and the Injustice that continues around the world, recently evident in the United States of America. Strength in numbers is what we need to affect legislative change, and this is what liberated the people of South Africa.”
Nathi is now releasing his latest single, “Mambo Pua (Remix)” on December 11, 2020 by Goin’ Native Records. During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, Nathi has kept himself busy writing and recording this new single and partnered with Albert Sterling Menendez on this remix.
Menendez is a life-long Shakira collaborator as musician, songwriter, and producer and has co written, the Top 10 Single "She Wolf" and many other songs with Shakira. As the owner of Sterling Blue Music Label, he has released top quality house records for the past 10 years. Albert has also directed music for artists such as Alejandro Sanz, Paulina Rubio, and this year's Latin Grammy Nominated as the best new artist, Nathy Peluso.
"I am proud to produce this stunner from Nathi Gcabashe, Mambo Pua, for The Sterling Ensemble Mixes," Menendez stated.
The title “Mambo Pua” is a simple and casual greeting in the Swahili language spoken widely in East and Southern Africa.
“It is a message of how interrelated and interconnected we are as a people," explains Nathi Gcabashe, who has performed internationally at some of the world's most recognized festivals and ceremonies. His talent has been showcased in iconic global celebrations such as the Soccer World Cup Celebrations in Germany and South Africa; South Africa's 10th Year of Freedom Celebration with Miriam Makeba; Montego Bay Jazz Festival; and Trinidad's Emancipation Festival with Lebo M. known for his unique vocals in “Circle of Life” from The Lion King. Gcabashe was also part of the performing artist's lineup in a U.S. Tour with Hugh Masekela and The Chissa All-Stars, which featured performances in 30 U.S. cities, sharing the stage with Jill Scott, Billy Ocean, Diana Ross, and Gospel Duo Mary Mary. There is more to come from Nathi, as he recently completed work on two full-length albums, to be released in early 2021 featuring the Wassalou Band™. Nathi shared his enthusiasm for the upcoming albums saying, “We've been performing live at Disney's Animal Kingdom for over a decade now, and it's fascinating to finally release a follow up to our first album "Live in the Village.” Get in the groove of Nathi's music by visiting www.nathigcabashe.com
His journey to the US began when he was 27 years old. Life in the “Big Apple”, New York City, was quite a culture change for him at the time, but he was able to settle into the community about six months in.
To date, he has “performed, collaborated, and toured with South Africa’s best and internationally recognized world music legends and a Grammy Nomination for songwriting.”
“Fusing music, spirituality, and a healthy mindset has helped me transcend the trauma and the victim mentality, I have reconnected with the exuberant childlike nature and the inner knowing that we are never alone. What remains is the daily commitment to managing my psychology, my philosophy, and my energies, and this keeps my life experience pleasant and a life worth living.”
Inspired by family, learning new things, nature, mysticism, reading, fun and just the little things life generally. Since the shutdown he has been writing new music, doing studio work and finishing up unfinished projects.
I’m “also taking it easy and not pressuring myself too hard during this time. I think the best way to hone my craft so far has been creating a pleasant and relaxing environment for myself and cultivating supreme physiological wellbeing during quarantine and after a ten year run of live daily operation schedule performances with my band at Walt Disney Animal Kingdom Theme Park in Orlando Florida. So on some level, it's refreshing not to be constantly on the run, instead use this time to reflect and write a book about my experiences.”
Q: What advice can you give your fellow musicians in the industry right now?
A: Strive to be different and unique, there must be something original, some kind of mysterious energy or an effect to your craft that people can take away after watching you perform. Nothing can stand in the way of true creativity, it always permeates and rings true.
When we learn an instrument we use methods, a system, fragments, and formulas, but once we learn the instrument we now must create something new, and not settle and repeat the same things that have been played before by those that came before us, and yes we can use their guidance here and there but we must insert our own personality, purpose and life experiences emotionally and technically. So I say play with your heart, sing with your heart and most importantly “Stick to your guns”. ~ Nathi Gcabashe
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring artists right now?
A: In the world music scene what’s worked for me is sticking to what I know best, my culture, the indigenous and modern. Understanding the business aspect of the industry is very important, ask for what you want and lose the fear. Believe in yourself and continue hustling and enjoy what you do because somebody out there will close in on your craft and help you reach a much wider audience. Do it because you love it, do it because you enjoy it, and be of service to the people you serve. If you do that, and not for any other reasons, you will see, everything will come together and you will realize you’re living the dream.
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