‘Khahlela’ is the latest single taken from Rixon’s album ‘Michele’ which features South Africa’s rising star Mx Blouse. Delivering blistering Zulu vocals on Rixon’s subtle yet rolling house production, ‘Khahlela’ is the result of a frequent collaboration between both artists. Mx Blouse, a gender non-binary recording and performing artist putting a fresh spin on the kwaito genre, and Thor Rixon, one of South Africa’s leading electronic producers, produce an unnaturally slick single with a message that everyone can relate to. Combined with cheeky, lo-fi visuals recorded during a live performance at a birthday party, ‘Khahlela’ guarantees to lighten your mood.
“The video was taken from a live performance Mx Blouse and I did at someone random person’s 15th birthday (friend of a friend’s younger cousin) a few months back,” says Thor. “There were maybe 7 kids & parents at the party standing and not really watching us. It was super awkward but we made the most of it. I started drinking heavily and Mx Blouse finished all of the Cheese Curls.”
“As the vocalist and lyricist on the track, what I can say about ‘Khahlela’ is that it’s about fatigue,” explains Mx Blouse. “When we started working on the track, mercury was in retrograde, and I had this feeling of shit just going wrong, and nothing really working, and just being irritable. The lyrics were in English, and if I remember correctly, Thor pushed me to make it a bit rawer, so I started writing in my native Zulu language instead. While it wasn’t about mercury retrograding anymore, the lyrics are still about how things can often feel overwhelming at times, and how, when that happens, you might just want to be left alone, or you can respond violently – without intention – to even the slightest provocation. The title itself is Zulu for “kick”, and the line with the word “khahlela” in it, literally translates to “if somebody tries to speak, you feel like kicking their ass”. I like being a bit quirky and adding a bit of humour in how I deliver narratives, even when the subject matter itself can be heavy, so I think that’s where the part about kicking people’s asses comes from.”
Thor Rixon spent his childhood in South Africa, learning many instruments such as guitar, drums and trumpet. In college he studied music production and film making. He went on to release a wide variety of electronic music and begun performing his work in 2014 which established him as one of South Africa’s leading electronic producers. In 2015 he moved to Berlin and has been traveling between South Africa and the EU performing, producing and collaborating with many artists from all over the world. He specialises in collaboration and improvisation, in both his productions and his live performances. Each performance unique and each production created with a subtle hand and the utmost care.
Mx Blouse is a gender non-binary recording and performing artist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Their music draws influences from a variety of genres, while their delivery draws mainly from the popular 90s South African kwaito genre, as well as rap. A frequent collaborator of Thor Rixon’s, Mx Blouse has since their 2016 debut released a few singles, including 2017’s critically acclaimed and Rixon assisted ‘Is’phukphuku’ (also with production credits from Jakinda, and Albany Lore), as well ‘No Match’, their recently released, and critically acclaimed 2019 single.
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