Durban-born eclectic singer-songwriter, rapper and composer Lungelo Manzi is the latest winner of the Hunter’s x Jacquel Culture House (JCH) nationwide Talent Search – which will result in a mentoring studio session with South African trailblazer Shekhinah.
The Hunter’s X Jacquel Culture House is a partnership between multi-award-winning African Pop Maverick, TRESOR and Hunter’s, South Africa’s most refreshing cider, that aims to give young musicians access to the music industry on a national scale. The collab also seeks to be an empowerment platform providing support and career development through ongoing mentorship and industry knowledge sharing: #RefreshingtheRules of the music industry.
Lungelo Manzi began his professional solo career in 2016 and, since then, has released a trilogy of EPs and two live albums, which established his emerging voice as an independent artist. Lungelo Manzi’s craft focuses on honest storytelling, covering love and personal development themes. “I think, at first, writing songs was a way to keep a capsule of memories and stories people shared with me. This idea of processing emotions, telling vivid stories from facts or being inspired by something you’ve felt through the senses was appealing. It was only after those first few moments of receiving positive feedback in different ways from people who listened that I felt that music was something I could be a vessel for, in a more honest and sometimes spiritual sense”, says Lungelo.
He has a genre-defying love for music, and first-time listeners either receive him as a singer or a rapper at first, depending on which run of songs they select on their favourite DSP. “I’ve found space in creating Alternative Hip-Hop & R&B, mainly. With that said, I do see myself playing in other genres from time to time. My signature for any sound is that I tell a catchy story, playing with words and imagery. If it comes out feeling good – then the conversation of how to place the music follows after getting the feeling right,” continues Lungelo.
According to Lungelo, music has always been a passive part of his life. “As a child, I was in school choirs until high school. I only considered it another school activity that allowed me to make friends and be creative. In my teen years, FL Studio was introduced to me on a visit to my cousin’s place, eMpangeni, during the school holidays. I took the software as a video game that puts sounds together.”
When he is not making music, Lungelo recently completed a digital marketing learnership with Red & Yellow and found a job as a digital marketer. “I am now based in Joburg, which helps to bring stability into my life as an independent artist.” Lungelo has his sights set on building his brand as a songwriter and live band performer and gaining a new audience.
About the Talent Search experience, Lungelo says, “competitions can sometimes have a stigma about them. Either they lose relevance/credibility to the community they speak to or don’t do enough to amplify the participants after it’s all said and done. I appreciated that Hunter’s X JCH positioned itself to me as a space for ongoing mentorship and guidance. A lot of the work is done by yourself as an unsigned act. So a program like Hunter’s x JCH resonated because the masterclass came with no fluff, and winning came with practical advice and face time with a mentor who is actively doing the most in the same spaces I’d like to see myself in,” continues Lungelo.
“I was surprised with the studio equipment at the end of the studio session with Shekhinah. As someone who has never had any equipment in the past, I’ve always had to create on somebody else’s schedule unless I could pay for it. So this gift directly affects the output I can have going forward, not only as an artist, but as a songwriter. Shekhinah was a pleasure to work with. Her knowledge and experience as an established act resonated in her grounded approach to our studio session – focusing on preserving the feeling in the music.”
“It has been a trippy experience. A part of me is affirmed by another established artist recognising my talent. Another part of me feels immense gratitude that this road of being an artist can come with such a milestone.”
The young artist would like to grow his song writing capabilities and sees himself writing for other acts, brands and exciting briefs in the future. “I’m mixing and mastering a new project entitled ADULTING ANONYMOUS. I’ve dropped five singles from this upcoming project available on digital streaming platforms. I’d be grateful if everyone can go check them out – alongside my previous work – by searching and listening to ‘Lungelo Manzi'”, concludes Lungelo.
The next round of talent show entries is open. Our mentors will share their expertise and industry knowledge as the artist mentors. All aspiring talent in and around the city can sign up. You need to go to the official campaign websites: https://hunters.co.za/culture-house/ or https://linktr.ee/JacquelCultureHouse and enter your details and add a link to your best song.
Follow Hunter’s and Jacquel Culture House’s social media platforms for more information and announcements around this #RefreshTheRules initiative.
#RefreshTheRules #HuntersRefreshes #JacquelCultureHouse #StaySafe
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Hunter’s offers a burst of real cider for guys and girls looking for refreshment from the first sip. Hunter’s was launched in 1988 as a refreshing, masculine alternative to beer. Its popularity has grown since its launch, making it the second largest cider brand in South Africa and the African continent and the go-to thirst quencher for every occasion. The Hunter’s range includes Hunter’s Dry, Hunter’s Gold, Hunter’s Hard Lemon, Hunter’s Export and Hunter’s Chilled Alc-Free