The prospect of 2019 is already proving to be a bright one for the local house music industry. The discovery of new rising stars signifies the undeniable growth of the Eswatini house music constellation. The latest addition being ‘Parcel’ – Sibusiso Zungu – an incredibly talented young DJ/producer from Ekupheleni in Motshane (Eswatini). Growing up in Ekupheleni, his love and passion for music was cultivated by the sounds of RnB, Gospel and Kwaito which provided the theme music for his childhood. Later on in his teens, ‘Parcel’ picked up a particular liking for house music. He recalls his first encounter with music production software FL Studios, “In 2015 I just happened to get my hands on FL Studios and I found it overly interesting. I started making whatever melodies came to mind and over time I got better and better at it.” – ‘Parcel’. Most of Parcel’s inspiration is drawn from legendary dance music icons such as ‘Manoo, Black Coffee, Djeff Afrozila and Da Capo’. Hence, he carries a distinct afro house sound and yet he has a knack for producing a wide array of music. His versatility allows him to stay true to his first love, house music, while recreating the nostalgic theme music of his childhood consisting of Kwaito, RnB and Gospel music.
‘Parcel’ made his grand entrance into the scene with the release of his debut EP titled, ‘The Parcel’. Released on local house music powerhouse ‘Antidote Music’, The EP is eclectic, featuring four meticulously produced tracks which showcase Parcel’s versatility. Each track has its own vibrant and distinct sound. ‘Ngiyatifela Ngawe’, which has the marvellous ‘Temantungwa’ on vocals, is proclamation of love embodied in siSwati lyrics layered over an infectious soul-infused afro house beat. ‘Bongani’ which means ‘be thankful’ in siSwati, is the second song on the EP and has a thumping bass coupled with afro-percussive melodies and subtle African chants. ‘Sive Esimnyama’ is call to action for the black nation to rise above its challenges and to fulfil their rightful destinies. Nkosi Nda shares this powerful message on ‘Sive Esimnyama’. Lastly, the title track, ‘The Parcel’, easily resonates with both deep house and afro house music lovers with its hypnotic melody and bassline.
Since its release ‘The Parcel EP’ has been turning heads. The lead single from the EP, ‘Ngiyatifela Ngawe’, has been breaking the charts on Traxsource. Traxsource is the world’s biggest online music store for sourcing house and electronic music. ‘Ngiyatifela Ngawe’ was initially hand-pickedby the Traxsource review team as one of the ‘Weekend Weapons’ on its first week of release. Since then the hit single broke into the Traxsource Afro House Top 100 music chart. After debuting at No. 95, Ngiyatifela Ngawe (featuring Temantungwa) sky rocket to No. 25 within a week. The hit single has also made it onto the Eswatini Top 20 chart hosted on EBIS 2 by Tizalami & Lindz, currently positioned at No. 11. Most recently, the release has received airplay from radio stations such as YFM, Vow FM and Rise FM on various drive time and dance music shows.
Speaking on one of the biggest challenges he faced whilst making the EP, Parcel mentions how hard it is getting the right level of quality both in the production and mixing of the music. One of his targets for 2019 is to release as much music as he can, working with both local and international musicians. Parcel’s ultimate dream is bringing a positive change in his community, and the world at large, through the message in the music he creates. He seeks to recreate the narrative of the black child by overcoming what other would see as a disadvantaged background and becoming the most influential musician in the world.