Young Zimbabwean Artist, Producer and Sound Engineer Ian T. Mhlanga’s upbringing was the making of a hardcore muso. Having been fathered by a bassist, whose father was a famous Mozambican marimba player, Ian was exposed to the world of musicianship from a tender age.
Fiddling with the then modern tape deck players, Ian started recording bass guitar licks of popular music including that of Simply Red and Brian Sibalo on tape. At the age of six, this routine became the norm and demos of recordings found themselves on tape within Ian’s reach. Ian’s influences span from artists like George Benson, Brian Eno, Leonard Dembo, Alick Macheso, Michael Jackson, Enya, Black Sabbath, David Bowie to Kanye West. Over the years, the art of composing original pieces using the acoustic guitar, accompanied by vocals, turned into the backbone of Ian’s music career.
His current offering is titled ‘Hug’, a sombre single taken from Ian Mhlanga’s upcoming album appropriately titled ‘Darkness’! The grand piano gives this song a melancholic feel and puts a whole new meaning to ‘Heaven I need a hug’ alternating it with “God will you give me a hug now?!” The strings offer both a jazzy and exotic feel making Ian’s George Benson influence very clear. Ian’s voice on the song makes it both haunting and catchy all the more reminiscent of Ronald Isley of the Isley brothers. Needless to say Ian’s style is way beyond his age, one senses a psychedelic 80s vibe in ‘Hug’ too.
If you liked Adele’s 19 to 21 days you’ll enjoy ‘Hug’ on a rainy day with a steaming cup of tea (preferably irish) and a book that matches its melancholy. ‘Hug’ was released on March 31st and is available for purchase on iTunes, GooglePlay and Amazon you can also sample it via YouTube below. Let us know what you think of ‘Hug’?