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Carlos Ncube

Ever since Sjava stepped into the music scene in 2016, he has enthralled fans and amassed a following particularly for his ability to write hooks that are out of this world.

But the most important thing about Sjava is that his music is an emotional experience. His reputation for being extremely in love, heartbroken and thankful means that people can use his music to order their emotions. Sjava is an emotion.

Sjava released the four-track EP Umphako last week, following his big win at the 2018 BET Awards where he walked away with the Viewer's Choice: Best International Act Award.

Umphako kicks off with ‘Confession’ where Sjava professes his love for a woman who he's not sure feels the same way. Sjava deviates from the usual confidence he oozes. He sounds uncertain and defeated and the slow beat cements these feelings for the listener.

The languid beat continues on ‘Abangani’ featuring his label mates Emtee and Saudi

Ma ng’khumbula lana eng’ phuma khona (When I think about where I come from)
Be ku ngekho lula (It wasn’t easy)
But I made it anyway."

Sjava started his career as an actor and made appearances on the SABC 1 series Zone 14. His break into the music industry saw him feature on the Black Panther original soundtrack, curated by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. His BET win is also a testament to his success.

Umphako pic ...

Ever since Sjava stepped into the music scene in 2016, he has enthralled fans and amassed a following particularly for his ability to write hooks that are out of this world.

But the most important thing about Sjava is that his music is an emotional experience. His reputation for being extremely in love, heartbroken and thankful means that people can use his music to order their emotions. Sjava is an emotion.

Sjava released the four-track EP Umphako last week, following his big win at the 2018 BET Awards where he walked away with the Viewer’s Choice: Best International Act Award.

Umphako kicks off with ‘Confession’ where Sjava professes his love for a woman who he’s not sure feels the same way. Sjava deviates from the usual confidence he oozes. He sounds uncertain and defeated and the slow beat cements these feelings for the listener.

The languid beat continues on ‘Abangani’ featuring his label mates Emtee and Saudi

Ma ng’khumbula lana eng’ phuma khona (When I think about where I come from)
Be ku ngekho lula (It wasn’t easy)
But I made it anyway.”

Sjava started his career as an actor and made appearances on the SABC 1 series Zone 14. His break into the music industry saw him feature on the Black Panther original soundtrack, curated by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. His BET win is also a testament to his success.

Umphako picks up the tempo in ‘Intombi’ over a beat reminiscent of 1980s hip hop with heavy kicks and snares. Sjava shows a comical approach to ‘Intombi’ when he speaks about courting a girl:

Intombi Ishelwa ngamanga (A lady is courted with lies) …
Ngi lahle inumber yami (I lost my number)
Ngicela eyakho. (Let me have yours)
Ngiyazi iqala ngo zero (I know it starts with zero).

This song, despite the cheese, is an anthem for those who don’t know how to approach women. Sjava then gives a motivation speech to fans with the last song, ‘Iqhawe’, where he tells people to seize the day.

While the EP offers a relaxed listening experience, followers of Ambitiouz Entertainment artist’s will pick up on the recycled elements in the first two songs. The beat on ‘Confession’ sounds similar to ‘Hlasela’ from Sjava’s 2016 album Isina Muva and ‘Abangani’ is a near replication of ‘I Do’ by LaSauce. Similarities can be found in most songs released under Ambitiouz, making the songs sound mundane at times.

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