Wandile Mbambeni Speaks to Us about his New Single

Wandile Mbambeni is one of South Africa’s greatest new artists with skills in both vocals and guitar ability. If you don’t believe us, give his new single, Lovers Like You a listen here and check out our discussion about his music below:

RIchard Chemaly (RC): And then in 2015, BOOM!!! there you were…a welcome acoustic addition to the South African musical discourse. Your background is somewhat of a mystery not even the internet has the answers to. Questions like “What were you doing before?”, “How did you learn to play the guitar so classically?” and “Where did you start playing?” require answers to fill the gaps in the internet.

Wandile Mbambeni (WM): I was playing rugby for the Eastern Province Kings Rugby Union, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Eastern Province Academy Side. Studying at Nmmu. I picked up the guitar at the end of 2010, ever since then I have taught myself how to play. I visited a Mugg&Bean in East London, Vincent 13 December 2013 to inquire about the entertainment industry and then ended up playing that evening (R100 for 4 hours).RC: You toured Europe a couple of years ago which is a gig most local musos only reach at the peak of their careers. You’re still on the rise so how was the experience of foreign touring at a relatively early stage of your career?

WM: I feel like that experience was the game changer for my career. It really made me want to do this for the rest of my life. I hadn’t played outside the Eastern Cape before so it was a massive jump. Life-Changing, Game-Changing.

RC: I dug up a 2 year old video of you saying that in 5 years you want to be a chart topper…is this single, Lovers Like You, the the one?

WM: I believe in this song a lot, I think Maturation EP the full project is the one.

RC: The new single certainly is one worthy of the charts and also somewhat of an evolution of what’s becoming your trademark sound, soft yet powerful (at least that’s how I interpret it). Does this happen naturally or are you conscious of maintaining a particular kind of sound for your personal brand?

WM: Thank you.  Influence is one of the other reasons, the sound we want to maintain is Soul Music.

RC: The song details some form of negative expectation in love but a positive surprise in the form of a special person. Was it written about somebody?

WM: Yes you could say that. However not entirely.

RC:  I’ve yet to come across and real negativity in your music. I’m also yet to see anything but a smile on your face. In the wake of everything that’s going wrong in the world, what’s your secret to staying humble, happy and smiling?

WM: My team, the people that are around are feeding nothing but positivity. Good company takes the cake definitely (*smiles*)