‘Khokhoba’ is the third single taken from Hopeyard, the debut album from classically trained studio wizard, composer and pianist NIN3S released March 16 on Dorado Records.
Undoubtedly one of the album’s most affecting tracks, it features the powerful, compelling vocals of South African songstress, writer, poet and musician, Toshi Tikolo. Toshi co-wrote the track with NIN3S and sings in her native South African tongue; Xhosa.
Hailing her as “one of the most sonorous voices of Africa’s electronic music scene,” Mixmag last year listed her among their ‘Top African Women Shaping Dance Music.’ She has worked with a who’s who list in the genre including Black Coffee and David Morales. Here though, Toshi’s rich vocals ring out, quivering with raw emotion adding heart and depth to an epic, uplifting track that combines a mesmerising melody and NIN3S deceptively simple piano motifs.
Meaning ‘getting old’, ’Khokhoba’ is dedicated to Toshi’s grandmother who raised her and persuaded her to sing in church at the age of 6. It speaks of a yearning and love for her role model and inspiration who is growing old and frail. Toshi has been writing songs since a young child, and through her storytelling captures her life’s stories in her powerful lyrics. Like NIN3S, she was classically trained, turned to jazz, yet found her voice through poetry and folk music.
Toshi said “The song is dedicated to my grandmother, how gracefully she’s aging, the suffering she went through in all her living years, raising her kids as a single parent.”
Accompanying the track is an astonishing video that is an emotive masterpiece. The sands of time are a theme running throughout – we see grains of sand dancing in the atmospheric, golden light around a graceful young face. The sands shift in rhythm and tempo as the song reaches its crescendo with soaring vocals, yet as the sands starts to fade, so the face ages in a dimming light, but her inner glow remains undimmed.
‘Khokhoba’ is released digitally on March 16.
Hopeyard is an ever evolving, cinematic journey of jazz electronica, mesmerising beats and elements of neo classical experimentation. NIN3S debut album is released on Dorado Records as a digital-only release on April 22. Both available from all usual streaming and download platforms.