Young, African, seasoned singer-song writer Tsholofelo is nothing short of a wonder in the alternative music world. She was born in Richards Bay, North Coast of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province in South Africa, later relocating with her parents as a young girl to the city of lights, Johannesburg. Eclectic is a word she says best describes her sound, and as with many musicians, Tsholofelo passionately confesses that music has always been escapism and a form of teleportation to which she’s connected with from as young as she remembers.
Tsholofelo studied music formally at the University of KwaZulu Natal, where she obtained her BA Music degree, BA Hons Music (cum laude) and is currently enrolled for her Master of Arts in popular music studies degree. Her sound is largely influenced by the alternative, r&b/soul soundscape, jazz, indie/folk music etc. Her sonic inspirations include Robert Glasper, Lianne La Havas, Adele, Laura Mvula, the list goes on. Because of the vastness of this soundscape, she has worked tirelessly towards creating music just as broad, just as honest and just as authentic as her innermost being.
On the 8th of August 2022, Tsholofelo released a long awaited single titled “Past Two Years” which she had began writing in January 2022. This project, together with an upcoming music video due to be released on the 31st of August 2022, was supported by SAMRO through the Music Creation Support Fund 2022. This would not be her first engagement with the industry though as she had independently released a debut album back in 2017 titled “Becoming”. She describes the creation of her recent single as a rebirth of sorts, after having taken a long hiatus from the music industry.
Tsholofelo describes the ”Past Two Years” as a sonic recollection of the past two years, that is, 2020 to 2022. She remarks “I wrote it on the first of January. I was retrospectively looking at the past two years and thought ‘damn, I survived that’. It was my reminder to be more gracious with myself. Everybody’s in a rush to get back to normal (and I get it completely) but in a lot of ways nothings really normal anymore. We’ve lost some people and loved some people and perhaps we can find some beauty in that too. It’s like we’re all learning how to walk again, you can’t rush that process.” She features cellist, William Nobela, on the song and it was produced by fellow artist and good friend, Thando Kunene.
“Past Two Years” is relatable in that its been our story – a reality for us all. Though it begins with the notion of grief, the true message of the song is one of hope, restoration and strength. Tsholofelo aptly describes it as “the other side of healing”.