Mazulas return to far south roots of their rhythm

Vusa and Zoë Mazula, of Mazula Music, will record their debut album in Fish Hoek this month, and perform for one night at Cafe Roux.

Husband and wife music duo Vusa and Zoë Mazula, of Mazula Music, are set to make a brief return to the far south, where their musical journey had its beginnings.

The couple, who now live in Zimbabwe, will perform with musician and sound engineer Willem Moller, at Cafe Roux, on Thursday December 14.

The Mazulas moved to Kommetjie in 2006, and Zoë reminisced about their time organising the Farmhouse Rocks summer music concerts at Cape Farmhouse in Scarborough for four years, saying, “We would drive the entire south peninsula on poster runs pretty much every week.”

The Mazulas are busy recording their first studio album at Moller’s Fish Hoek studio this month.

“We are recording with him as he also records live, and we much prefer recording live as a band. Not every engineer can cater for it, but it is like in the 60s and 70s, before we started dividing up the sounds and making them overly perfect and putting them back together again. For me, some of the magic is lost when you split a band from creating one sound together,” Zoë says.

The couple say their songs draw inspiration from life experiences.

“Usually Vusa comes up with a riff or a guitar melody that keeps going round in his head, and then I end up having the lyrics come to me. Some songs we write together, some separately, but Vusa always comes with the guitar lines,” says Zoë.

“Our upcoming single, Shoulders of Giants, we sang to some elephants in Victoria Falls,” says Zoë. “One thing I can say is African elephants love our music, but they didn’t like the pocket trumpet. Maybe we were saying something rude in their language.”

They will release the full footage for their video later this year.

After meeting in London in 1998 and both fronting separate bands, the couple made Cape Town their home, eventually opening the live music venue Zula Sound Bar on Long Street for 10 years.

Mazula Music followed in 2018.

“When we lost literally everything we had built up, we were left with our guitar and small PA system comprising microphones, amplifiers, loudspeakers, etc, and we got a gig out of necessity to eat and have not looked back since,” says Zoë.

The Mazulas define their music is “funky, world-folk with a twist”.

“Zoë discovered she can do a mean mouth trumpet so that replaces the horn section when we are a duo,” says Vusa.

The couple advise aspiring musos to prioritise creative freedom and avoid the music industry’s “controlling and consuming” nature.

“Music transcends all our divisions of race, gender and age boundaries and opens doors for us regardless of where we play in the world, and that makes us some of the most enriched people on this planet, and we are very grateful for that gift,” says Zoë.