FOR Bongani Fassie, spending his days creating music does not only come naturally – it is as necessary as breathing.
The 29-year-old Fassie, who was in Port Elizabeth yesterday promoting his new album, Rise, believes music makes him whole.
On this album, the multi-talented Fassie has followed in his mother’s footsteps by dedicating a song to his nine-month-old daughter, Brenda Nombuso Fassie.
In the song, called Daddy Loves You, he tells his daughter how much she reminds him of his mother and how much he loves her.
“My mom did it for me when I was born with the song Baby Bongani,” he said yesterday.
The 13-track Rise – which includes the dance tracks Make it Beta, Hands Up and Love – is his second solo album since he was 10 years of age.
Fassie has been on the road promoting his album for almost a week.
The dynamic musician, who believes he has a legacy to maintain, is thoroughly enjoying being a father to his daughter, who is named after his mother.
“She’s already a musician. She hums along to music, dances and cries when I switch the music off, and loves playing at the piano.”
The album was produced by Fassie and DJ Sneja and features the late Big Brother Africa contestant Goldie, of Nigeria, on the title track.
He also worked with rappers Pro, Pdot O and J-Lawless on the album.
Fassie says he is blessed to be doing something he truly loves.
“My relationship with music is unexplainable. I was practically born on stage and I think it was only natural that I would fall in love with it. For me, music is like air. It’s absolutely necessary in my life.”
It has been almost 10 years since his mother, the legendary Brenda Fassie – famous for hit songs Vuli’ndlela, Weekend Special and My Black President – died.
“The one thing she did not compromise on, was respect. For yourself and for others. You can have all the money in the world but it won’t take you far if you don’t have respect for what you do and the people who help you do it.”
The Cape Town-born Fassie, who was on his third visit to the city, is hoping to finish his book and get the Brenda Fassie Foundation up and running in the next couple of years.
Fassie said his book, which he has started writing, was about his life and what he learned as an ’80s baby.
“The foundation would help anyone, including those dealing with a personal crisis, including divorce, midlife issues, bipolar disorder and people struggling with substance abuse. I want to be able to help anyone that has potential that needs guidance,” he said.