Mthatha’s 047 simply ‘meant to be’

Four months after releasing their debut album, Wen’ Ungowam, Mthatha trio 047 once again had Bay fans enthusiastically singing along to their tunes at the Nangoza Jebe Hall last Friday night.
The trio, groomed by Bay singer Vusi Nova, returned to PE to perform at the Vusi Nova vs St Stephens Church concert, just over a month after wowing the crowd at the Umhlobo Wenene Hats and Heels concert at the Boardwalk.
Members Sihle Mdaka, 22, Lihle Baleni, 21, and Ngcali Nundu, 20, first gained fame when award winner Vusi Nova accepted their music demo in 2017.
Mdaka said Nundu had accompanied a friend by the name of Buntu when he went to give a friend of Vusi Nova’s a demo.
“We recorded a demo and when Buntu took a demo to Vusi, we decided we should also try our luck and send our demo as well,” Mdaka said.
He said they left their number on the demo CD and the artist called them back the following morning.
“It was unbelievable – we never saw it coming. We never expected him to reply that quickly [and] before we knew it, we were signed by Muthaland Entertainment,” he said.
They then released their debut single Ubuhle, which featured Vusi Nova, and in May 2018 released their debut album, Wen’Ungowam.
“Wen’Ungowam comes from what we’ve seen and what we’ve experienced,” Nudu said.
The trio grew up in Mthatha and said they always loved music, even before they met at a schools music competition in 2013.
“We were in different schools and we were locked in a hall, and to pass the time we decided to sing together,” Baleni said.
“After singing together, we realised we had the same energies and we clicked. There was something about us and we just knew from there that we were meant to be,” he added.
Nudu said they chose the name 047 for their brand because it was the area code for their hometown.
“The Eastern Cape has great talent and unfortunately it’s limited with opportunities and resources, and Johannesburg is where things are happening.”
He said they wanted to create an empire in the music industry and provide opportunities to other emerging artists from the Eastern Cape.
“We want to leave a legacy. When we die I’d like our music to be recognised in every corner of the world,” Nudu said.
He added that with their first album they hoped to get awards for best newcomers.
Baleni agreed: “I'd love for us to be known as the group that created their own sound, that made a difference in the music industry, that inspired generations to not be afraid to try new things.”
A proud Nova said when he had listened to the trio’s demo, he knew they had talent.

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