New: We've just partnered with LMG to offer you a national gig guide. Check it out!
Since I last checked up on him with my review of his single ‘Somdanger’, Robin Thirdfloor’s (aka Simphiwe Nyawose) momentum has yet to be constrained. Performing at the prestigious SXSW in Texas and being announced as Deezer Next’s first batch of ambassadors alongside Southern Wild, Dominic Neill and Raheem Kemet, is enough to temporarily exhaust any artist, but not Nyawose.
Contrasting to the piercingly sinister dynamic of ‘Somdanger’, the artist’s latest encompasses a relatively more sobering note: love and all its complexities. ‘Mina Nawe’, isiZulu for ‘Me and You’, indeed showcases an unfamiliar facet of Robin Thirdfloor. In collaboration with Swiss producer Dejot during in stay in Joburg last year, ‘Mina Nawe’ serves as a taste of the Umlazi-born artist’s upcoming ‘Bhotela’ EP set for release before year’s end.
Continuing to blend kwaito and hip hop, ‘Mina Nawe’ takes on a refreshingly moderato pace alongside playful synth call-and-responses. Influenced by Brown Dash and Mdu Masilela, spherically-dense lines with a touch of subtly-pitched bass and crisp claps beautifully steer Nyawose’s romantic vocal direction.
When I studied music, I recall one of my teachers telling us about the power of a motif – a short, 2 to 5 note melody that’s so distinct we can recall them in baby words. From Beethoven’s 5th Symphony “Ba-Ba-Ba Booom” to ‘Smoke on the Water’’s “Da-Da-Daaaaa” – the introductory synth in ‘Mina Nawe’ structures the entire track with merely two melodies within a bar or two.
Follow Tim on Twitter.
Listen to ‘Mina Nawe’ on Deezer.