Kwaito heavyweight Mandoza may have lost his life, but the man who brought life into his music is preparing to unleash his successor.
Veteran and internationally famed producer Gabi Le Roux is believed to be putting final touches on the songs of some upcoming musicians, and among them, is a young man understood to “have the same touches as Mandoza”.
Mandoza succumbed to a long battle with cancer last week, news that released shockwaves across the world, with even international media platforms running special tributes.
Sources close to Kaleido Media, the multimedia and record label owned by Le Roux, confirmed to DRUM that “all was in order” for the album of the “new Mandoza.”
“It’s a done deal,” said a Johannesburg-based club DJ asking to remain anonymous to protect his relationship with Le Roux. “Gabi himself is very excited about this kid. He was telling us last week when he was in Johannesburg that he can’t wait to unleash him.”
Another source, a radio presenter, told DRUM that the 60-year old multi award-winning producer was “can’t wait” to introduce a new Mandoza.
“Look, Gabi’s biggest talent is to spot talent. Remember, it took him just a few minutes to know that Mandoza was the real deal. I heard about this kid he’s busy grooming behind the scenes,” said the radio host.
It is also understood that with his new protégé, Le Roux will use a similar but updated rhythm he applied on Mandoza’s songs.
“I’m told the boy is talented, just like Mandoza. Apparently he sounds like him, which will suit Gabi well,” said another musician.
When contacted by DRUM, Le Roux, who relocated from Joburg to Cape Town in 1994, became evasive.
“I’m not confirming anything at this stage because there are a lot of artists I work with. I have a new project named Oktipus, ran by young people I work with and we sign artists from mainly rural places,” he said.
He added, “Shortly before he died, Mandoza launched a record label called Nkalakatha Records and his wife Mpho will run it, so I will be working closely with her.”
Pressed further about the new artist earmarked to take over Mandoza and believed to be from Cape Town, Le Roux said. “All I can say is that Cape Town is full of talent. Did you know that I produced Chiskop and Mandoza’s songs from here? All of their songs.”
DRUM also understands that Le Roux has just signed a new female kwaito sensation named Nomtha Wa Kwaito, touted to compete with Durban’s Babes Wodumo.
“Nomtha is talented enough on her own but I won’t rush her. People are already making noise about her but I’m scared she might be overwhelmed by pressure,” said Le Roux. “I have another artist Andrei Damane whose father is Dutch and mom is Xhosa-speaking. I’m also working on releasing Msai, the guy who performed with Mandoza at the SABC concert.”