Cool Kid: Zekhu Kheswa

Different environments can affect how one understands and views the world. 

Zekhu Khwesa is a Bachelor of Music student at Wits University, a budding musician majoring in jazz vocals, and goes by the stage name “Lord Zekhu. The Durban born musician said music has been a part of his liver ever since he can remember. “At the age of 11, I would practice at the staff kitchen at my school, that is when one of my teachers noticed me and gave me proper lessons,” he recalls.  

Zekhu creates alternative, Afro-Pop, Trap and RnB music. He manipulates and fuses sounds from different genres that articulate and present the audience with something unique to listen to. “Music needs to introduce different taste, this helps broaden and open the listener’s minds to new, informative and insightful things,” Kheswa said.  

The photograph that inspired Zekhu to write the JungleFever collection Photo: Sedibana Mpho

The love of music runs in the Kheswa family, Zekhu’s mother is an Opera singer and his uncle is a music conductor for orchestras, and lectureat UKZN. At the age of 10, Zekhu would go to UKZN to practice playing the piano. He tells Wits Vuvuzela that as a child he never realised that he was following his mother and uncle’s footsteps, but it is all making sense now.  

Zekhu released his first collection JungleFever on 3 May, 2021. The collection consists of 3 solo singles, the singer explained the work behind JungleFever was inspired by photography shot by his friend, Sedibana Mpho. “I mostly create my work from analysing and interpreting art,” he said.    

Zekhu initially pursued modelling when he first got to Braamfontein in 2014. But he said the experience came with a lot of stress and anxiety, and eventually lead to Zekhu slipping into depression, that’s when he decided to cut ties with the industry altogether. It was one of the biggest challenges Zekhu has faced, “I inspire myself by looking back at what I have done and look what I am going to do next,” he said.

Growing up in a musicafamilyZekhu is inspired by greats such as Michael Jackson and Kanye West, who influenced his fashion and dance style.  “At 9 years old, I would pick outfits for my mother to wear when she would attend meetings at school,” he adds. 

Zekhu had also suffered from the impact that the covid-19 pandemic brought in people’s daily lives. He used to have paid gigs which became scarce, he said the lockdown period was tough, he saw it as an opportunity for learning and regrouping., “Time alone for an artist is the foundation of creativity,” Zekhu said.  

Zekhu is currently working on another project “Cozy Collection” which is also inspired by the photographs he has taken before. 

 

FEATURED IMAGE: Image of Zekhu Kheswa Photo: Alfonso Nqunjana

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