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#MusicExchange: Mapumba

Mapumba is a multi-genre world music artist who blends traditional melodies, stories, and languages from his native DRC with original inspirations that deliver a rich, authentic African sound with a modern touch. Best described as an African Tracy Chapman meets Salif Keita.
I caught up with him last week ahead of his show at Café Roux in Cape Town on 22 March 2018.

#MusicExchange: Mapumba#MusicExchange: Mapumba

BizcommunityWhen are you happiest?

I am happiest when I am connecting with life. Physically, through emotions, and the mind. I need to touch life.

BizcommunityWhat does music mean to you?

Music to me means a beautiful way for people to communicate. Beyond words and cultures, which have their limits.

BizcommunityWhat drives you: ego or humility?

I am driven by humanity.

BizcommunityAny funny moments on stage?

With my band in Johannesburg, we used to have big Afro-pop dance moments in our set. I would sometimes do the James Brown leg splits. One day, I did the split and my pants tore right in the middle. I had to run off stage.

BizcommunityYour heroes?

Among the popular heroes are Nelson Mandela, Sting (Gordon Summer), Richard Bona, Rosie Mutene, Will Smith, and Papa Wemba.

BizcommunityIt’s your round, what are you drinking?

Single malt, smooth and blood warming.

BizcommunityWhat makes you stand out?

My music and performances represent a journey. Either through the continent of Africa or from Africa to the world. I feel not many artists can do that authentically. I feel I’m undefined by genre or category. This was a problem for me for a long time when labels and the industry required that artists remain specific to one. Now I am a veteran of that approach.

#MusicExchange: Mapumba#MusicExchange: Mapumba


I’m just Mapumba to the world. I have developed an act under the name of ‘Tshilombo’. It is an electronic live performance with a traditional twist. Imagine a singer/songwriter with more gadgets than just a guitar.

BizcommunityIf you were not a musician what would you do?

I would be doing something technical. I like maths and I enjoy electronics. My ‘soldering iron’ would earn me some money then. Instead of just helping me maintain my old sound equipment

BizcommunityPick five words to describe yourself?

Determined, humanistic, loving, energetic, socially-awkward.

BizcommunityWhat is your favourite word?


BizcommunityFavourite fashion garment?


BizcommunityOn stage, I tend to?

Lose myself in the performance. I easily forget the formalities.

BizcommunityWishes and dreams for 2018?

To perform at high profile events and collaborate with artists that I respect (I missed my chance with Hugh Masekela unfortunately).

Social media links

Facebook Page:
Twitter: @mapumbamusic
Instagram: @mapumbamusic
AllEvents (Live Show Calendar):
BandCamp 9 (Online Store):
ITunes page:

About Martin Myers

Co-owner at Triple M Entertainment, founder Music Exchange, manager Sipho Hotstix Mabuse

Let's do Biz