Five Minutes with Digital Sangoma

30th October 2017 BY Matimu Rikhotso

Mandisi Mafu is cultivating a growing following in the Cape Town and South African music scene as of late. Going by the stage name of Digital Sangoma, his smooth ethereal sounds and traditionally rhythmic melodies are almost unmissable. Having recently made appearances on some of South Africa’s most popular daytime shows (Expresso and Hectic99), Digital Sangoma is knocking on all the right doors. His songs Molo Mama and When We Were Younger have done exceptionally well, along with his gripping live performances. Having released the music video for his single PAPA, Digital Sangoma is on a clear path to set up his own pace. We sit down to learn more:

1) How does one describe your take on musicality?

African dance music, with elements of chanting, soulful vocals, traditional Xhosa rhythms and West African melodies. A fusion Afropop, Afrobeats and Kwaito music with an undertone of electronic synths.

2) What was the reason for the re-brand from Mandie Mafu?

I changed to Digital Sangoma because when you start to produce you dabble with a lot of things because you’re influenced by so much that is out there. I recently discovered the sound that talks to me, that is actually a great representation of what Digital Sangoma is. A lot of that has to do with growing up in the Eastern Cape. Just last year I decided to go back home to seek within myself and see where it started and how I fell in love with music. That’s where I started to recall all the memories of growing up in the village and the ceremonies where sangomas (traditional healers) sing and people would dance. I started incorporating that and it flew into me.

The Cape Town based musician mixing lush Afro-soul melodies with Electro

3) What’s the hardest part about thriving in your genre?

Not getting enough media coverage is the most difficult part. I don’t think that has to do with my genre, I believe it’s a challenge that all independent musicians are facing.

4) When can we expect the full album?

I’m dropping my debut album on the 1st of November. I’m very excited to share it with the world.

Follow Digital Sangoma’s work here: