“I wanted to make an album that you could listen to when you were alone at home or in the car.”

Multi-award-winning musician Sjava expressed his gratitude to his supporters on social media as they continue to listen to his latest offering, Isibuko (a mirror).

On Friday, Sjava, real name Jabulani Hadebe, held an intimate listening session at Circa Gallery for his friends, family and select media, ahead of his album release.

“I wanted to make an album that you could listen to when you were alone at home or in the car,” Sjava told his guests.

Following the success of his EP, Umsebenzi, released in 2020, and the deluxe version released in 2021, he’s released a full-length, 18-track studio album titled Isibuko (a mirror).

The foundations of the album were laid in February 2022, when Sjava, Ruff, Delayde, Webmoms and Vuyo Manyike conceptualised the essence of the project and recorded the initial music and vocals for the album.

As the name Isibuko suggests, this album exposes a deeply introspective side to the artist as he takes the listener on a journey of rare and raw emotions.

The talented musician shared that staring at himself in the mirror daily had him thinking about his journey and how far he had come.

“This album is a reflection of my journey over the last few years and speaks to my experiences and growth as a person and musician. Musically, it is a continuation of the process that began with the Umsebenzi EP/Deluxe and I hope my supporters enjoy the body of work.”

He has featured various artists on the project, including Afrotainment stars, the Qwabe Twins (Isoka), and the highly talented singer/songwriter Mzulu Phaqa (Inhlonipho).

“My grandmother once said Inhlonipho will open doors to you. You could apply for a job and not have the experience or qualification but the manner in which you approached the people with respect would be the reason they hire you” said Sjava of the song, Inhlonipho (respect), in his latest album.

He also touched on his battle with alcohol and how Emtee (Mthembeni Ndevu) and Ruff (Mfanafuthi Nkosi) helped him see the light.

“I was an alcoholic when I met Emtee and Ruff these guys changed my life I stopped sipping and brought back that thing I had for music. I was 33, and I felt like it didn’t matter anymore but when I met them they bought back that spark in me and if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be standing here today.”

By: Palesa Manaleng

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