Coming off of a 2-year hiatus, Xenlaii returns with his alias WASHA X to share a juxtaposing 2-track release that reflects on the dual experience of living in South Africa. Xenlaii & WASHA X share a feel-good song titled ‘Bless’ which is contrasted by an aggressive, rap-heavy song titled ‘Umgowo ZA’ – available on DSPs here.
On Bless, Xenlaii & WASHA X borrow grooves from the uplifting Afrobeats genre to paint a beautiful picture of feeling blessed and having a blissful experience in beautiful parts of the country such as Cape Town. They then completely flip the script on the second song titled Umgowo ZA, which borrows sounds from the street rap genre known as Boom Bap.
Speaking on this unique release, the two express: “Umgowo ZA brings us back to the realities that the country faces such as youth unemployment, inequality, escapism and alcohol abuse. This release feels like the South African experience in the sense that South Africans are trapped between two extreme worlds that they experience the second they walk out the door. An example is how you can be in the most developed part of the country and get approached by a family begging for bread. Another is how you can also be in the most underdeveloped part of the country and see the fanciest vehicles. The last example is how South Africans make the most beautiful, happy and uplifting music yet they are going through much psychological strain as watch they watch the country fall apart. All these experiences are happening simultaneously in one place”.
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