The making of rapper Kuly Tangu’s 52-track album

20 Nov, 2021 - 00:11 0 Views
The making of rapper Kuly Tangu’s 52-track album Kuly Tangu

The Chronicle

Mbulelo Mpofu, Showbiz Reporter
A LOOK into arguably the biggest records archive the world has ever seen revealed that never before has there been an album with 52 songs in Zimbabwe.

Guinness World Records has it that the most songs on a digital album is 446, and was achieved by Mark Lee and The Pocket Gods (both UK-based) with the album titled “500X30 Morse Code Days In Lockdown”, released on May 1, 2021.

Well, Zimbabwe may not have to worry about achieving a feat of more than 50 songs on an album as hip-hop musician and producer, Kuly Tangu (real name Sikulile Tangu) who has over 10 mixtapes, did it last year on the 4th of March.

The album is available on Google Drive and includes songs such as For You, Casanova, Problems and African Sunset.

The real question is, what happens inside the mind of one who can conjure up such a plenteous project?

The Dipo singer, Kuly Tangu (KT) gave Mbulelo Mpofu (MM) a synoptic view into his world, fighting depression, backlash from fellow artistes, how the “suicide” 52-track album came about and everything in between.

Below is the interview:
MM: Do you think you belong to an elite group of artistes by achieving such a feat in Zimbabwe?

KT: Honestly, I know for a fact that if I was in South Africa or anywhere else, Zimbabwe would be claiming me as one of their “elite” artistes but because I’m here doing this kind of work, I’m regarded as a crazy artiste and the gatekeepers do not even look my way. Do I deserve to be in the elite group? Most probably, yes I do. Do I want their recognition? No, I want my fans to be the ones to recognise me in that way.

MM: How long did it take to record, mix and master the album?

KT: The album KULY (Kind Unity Loving Youth) took me at least eight months to compile every little detail on the album. Most of the 52 songs were pre-recorded prior to the final mix down of the full album. Most of the songs I produced fully and some, I had other producers working with me. You Are, Kash the Plug, DJ Nei, Jae Drilla and Carnot Yzia are some of the producers that I worked with. It was a collective effort.

MM: How was the creative process during the recording?

KT: Most of the songs in this album were recorded at night and 78% of them are relationship-based. The 2019-20 period was one of the worst for me as I went through a rough patch. I was depressed and lonely most of the days. So these songs became my escape from reality to a reality that helped me calm down. You’ll find that there are sad, happy, love and hate songs. It was rather, a roller-coaster of feelings in which music became my muse.

MM: How many artistes did you feature on the album?

KT: So, on this album, I featured quite a number of artistes most of whom I was trying to bring out to the music scene. I featured McAlly, Sandie Queen, iiSSy_Molly, Culoe and Xolisani Ndlovu (aka Buju). The first two artistes on that list were from Skynet Empire and the last three from my record label, Back Pack Music Entertainment and Timeless Records.

MM: As far as work ethic is concerned, what does a 52-track album say about you as an artiste?

KT: When I was doing the album, I was trying to break away from the old me. It was a way of starting on a new page, rebranding “Kuly Tangu Music” so that the corporate world and the consumers of art could easily relate to the brand.

I really didn’t think about how it would make me look after releasing it or how my fellow artistes would feel about it.

So after releasing it, I got a lot of backlash from fellow colleagues and they literally said I was wasting my resources and people wouldn’t have time to listen to a long album like that. Most of the negative reviews came from fellow artistes, but I really wasn’t bothered because I knew why it had to be done.

Releasing a 52-track album proved my capability of pulling a rabbit out of a hat and doing it gracefully. Secondly, it proved that the sky is the limit. If I put my mind to doing something, I can really do it and achieve it. This motivated me to push even harder. Lastly, this gave me a clean slate to demonstrate to everyone that my name is worth the respect because after that 52-track album, I dropped the En Mi Elemento Deluxe album and it’s performing very well on streaming platforms.

MM: What is your message to fellow artistes?

KT: My message is plain and simple, “NO ONE OWES YOU ANYTHING!” If you see something that you want, push yourself harder and ensure that you get it. Failing is part of the process of achieving. – @eMKlass_49.

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