Opinion Review

Tyss The Tlou: A Luta Continua

It’s not often that individuals, in the height of capitalism, produce a product and demand no remuneration for their efforts. The essence of the system is primarily based on the accumulation of wealth in partnership with Adam Smith’s promotion of social interest via self-interest. Tyss the Tlou aka Tyss Azna has like many NGOs taken on an endeavour to provoke thought and spread awareness, except without the social grant.

With such an intention, the artist’s debut album “A Luta Continua” is not available for purchase, and addresses an array of hard-hitting topics with the hope of widespread distribution. Portuguese for ‘the struggle continues’, the album’s cornerstone is primarily centered on whether social progress is directed on an intended path. With distinct references to self-purpose, social constructs, blind liberation and his supposedly ‘free’ position as a young black South African, Azna’s debut is strikingly important and relevant to say the least.

“A Luta Continua” is divided by 3 acts each driven by a cinematic narrative, addressing themes which resemble the writings of American author Robert Greene. Focusing on self-reflection and development, the benefits of foresight and the divergence between the planned and unexpected, the acts make for an appropriate, effective approach to introduce the listener to the explicit themes to come. Opener ‘Ground Zero’ and follow-up ‘Bipolar’ primarily question our purpose, as well as society’s labeling method in order to explain something amongst a backdrop of sinister synths and repetitive rhythmic lines.

Vindictive and aggressive, ‘Robbin’ Islands’ and ‘Liberation (Appropriation)’ confronts the born-free generation’s insufficient resource-based instability from a young black South African’s perspective, as well as the difference between what’s factual and what’s desired. ‘Blindness’ and ‘Blow’ continue this path by utilising poet Milton’s ‘On His Blindness’, showcasing the inability to truly see the world around you, highlighted South Africa’s socio-political events of the year as well as the distortion that suppression creates.

An ode to love accompanied by a powerful string section encompasses ‘The Queen’ whilst ‘Counterattack’, ‘Gold’, ‘Gory’ and closer ‘Higher’ address more existential topics such as intrusive thought, the lure of material wealth and the fulfilment of success. Undoubtedly, “A Luta Continua” effortlessly succeeds in provoking rational thought by seeing to the exploration and elaboration of varied socio-cultural based issues, if one only decides to listen.

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Listen to ‘A Luta Continua’ below on Soundcloud.