A singer, songwriter and poet who found salvation in seeking her truth, Nomzi Kumalo’s music is a cinematic tale that migrates from her South African childhood, through France, to the frozen wilds of Scandinavia.
Her sound reflects the innocence of young love and the anguish of adulthood. As a little girl she awoke in the mornings to the sound of her grandfather playing classical piano, when he would visit. She spent Sundays dangling her feet from the pews of the Baptist church as she absorbed the gospel harmonies. Nomzi became an explorer whose music was forged in solitude, far from the familiarity of home.
Born to a Xhosa mother and a Zulu father, now based in Norway, Nomzi has journeyed through Europe, stripping away vices and gathering eclectic influences that give her music a timeless edge and a naked honesty. Her lilting, earthy tone, would not be lost in a smoky bar in the Montmartre of Toulouse Lautrec or on stage in a speakeasy in prohibition New York.
Nomzi speaks openly about facing down the demons of addiction and the pain of stepping out from behind the drink that muffled her senses; but more importantly the enjoyment and clarity of vision in her writing since beginning her recovery. This level of focus has presented her with the opportunity and honour of teaming up with Brian Vibberts, the 6x Grammy Award winning producer and engineer and Multi-Grammy Award winning mastering engineer, Joe Bozzi to engineer her music.
Now, mournful but urgent, Nomzi sings without filters, connecting with her audiences with a vivid soulful sound and a strikingly earthy vocal identity that is hers. She has already performed in venues such as The Oslo Concert Hall and The Nobel Peace Centre.
Nomzi’s voice is the ballerina turning tinkling music box, a sound that seeks out her listener with a haunting intimacy.
Photo: Nabeeh Samaan
Copyright © Nomzi Kumalo, 2020.