‘I’m still with The Vine’

Langalakhe Mabena

Multi-award-winning gospel sensation Everton Mlalazi says despite crafting a successful solo career, he is still the leader of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) musical ensemble The Vine.

The multi-lingual muso emphasised his position with the group on South Africa’s Power FM’s programme Power UP: Hanging Out with Everton Mlalazi episode edition by Kwena Moabelo.

“The Vine was created in 2014 which has the most amazing talent I have ever seen, and to date, I am still the leader of the group. Sometime in 2020, after we couldn’t meet with The Vine members for rehearsals or recording due to Covid-19 and its restrictions, I decided to record myself.

“My wife played a great role in motivating me in recording my first solo single Uyingcwele. I released the song and it surprised me as it enjoyed a massive rotation on local radio charts and the momentum it created was huge, I couldn’t stop.

“This led to me releasing more singles, my first album and now my second album because the gospel was on demand,” said Mlalazi.

He said there was a bit of doubt and questioning by The Vine on his solo career.

“At first the members didn’t fully understand the decision of going solo as they thought it was the demise of the group. I then clarified myself as the leader of the group and my word stood as we (The Vine) managed to record The Great Physician in 2022. 

Everton Mlalazi with Lady Smith Black Mambazo and the band on the Nomakunje project

“We are going on strong as we are busy in the studio working on an album that will help us in celebrating our 10-year anniversary next year. We are also going to be embarking on a tour in between now and our 10th anniversary celebration,” said Mlalazi.

Born on 22 May in 1982, Mlalazi revealed how five-time Grammy award winners LadySmith Black Mambazo helped him in celebrating his birthday in style this year at a gig which was held in Harare.

Mlalazi worked closely with Black Mambazo on Nomakunje, which sits on one million views on YouTube after four months of its release.

“Despite having legendary status courtesy of their work, Lady Smith are the most down to earth creatives I have ever worked with. On my birthday celebrations, I wanted them to be part of the gig I hosted in Harare.

“When I approached them, they were clear with me that they are busy since it was a cultural month (May). They then asked me to get them on a flight and the rest was history as we performed a set that is still vivid in my memory,” said Mlalazi.

Mlalazi will soon release dates for his tour in South Africa, Tanzania and the United Kingdom.

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