A 20-year-old Melkbosstrand singer and songwriter, who recently brought out a new single, is hoping to make it big in the music business.
Xhanti Mtwana, who grew up in Kuils River and Goodwood, says his mother signed him up with an advertising agency when he was a baby and he has been in front of the camera ever since.
“Doing adverts and acting were my first gigs, and I loved doing that. My mother was in control of everything and always booked gigs for me.
“When I was 11, I was part of the Beauty and the Beast production at the Artscape theatre, which was produced by Pieter Toerien Productions.
“I enjoyed being on stage, but I soon had to stop because I was falling behind in my school work and my mom was very worried about that.”
So for a while, Xhanti, who uses his surname, Mtwana, as his stage name out of homage to his late grandfather, focused on school until he fell in love with music in high school.
He’d been a big Michael Jackson fan growing up, imitating his dance moves and singing, so Mtwana says it felt natural going into music.
He remembers singing at his school talent show when he was 14, and says the principal got out of his seat and danced.
“That was the moment when decided I wanted to do this with my life. My mother was and still is very supportive, but she said that if this is what I wanted to do, I should back it up with studies. That’s why I ended up studying marketing after matric.”
Mtwana calls his sound “mood music” and describes it as a fusion of hip hop and R&B. Two years ago, he participated in the MTN Megastar talent show, and one of the judges, radio personality and hip hop DJ Tbo Touch, tweeted that Mtwana had great potential.
Mtwana and his producer-manager, 20-year-old Hlumelo “Nash” Dhanana hope to deliver on that sentiment and believe the harder they work the more music lovers and the music industry will recognise them.
“We have been working together since high school and we are trying to get Mtwana’s name out there to a broader audience,” says Nash.
“The music we are creating is very diverse and unlike the trends in the music scene at the moment. In a world full of artists making the same type of music, we decided to go the other way and make music with substance.
“We have recently released his new single No Feelings and a music video of the song is also out.”
The two young men are working on Mtwana’s EP, Mood Swings, which will be released this year.