Big Zulu speaks on new album and fallout with Universal Records
South African Hip Hop artist Siyabonga Nene also known as Big Zulu has officially released his long awaited Ichwane Lenyoka album.
Big Zulu has explained the metaphor of a hatching snake in the album title and also opened up on why he left Universal Records.
“A snakelet has to learn to fend for itself straight from birth, unlike a bird that cares for chicks.
“So when you bring the analogy back to me, I did not have anyone to open doors for me into the industry and teach me the ropes.
“It was all up to me to get in, find out how the industry works,” he said.
The Imali Eningi hitmaker likened himself to a snakelete that just hatched and has to fend for itself.
“So I’m like that snakelete (ichwane lenyoka) because when I got into the industry, I had to figure out things for myself,” he said.
Big Zulu who raps mainly in his Zulu language said even though he was signed to Universal Records – one of the biggest musical labels- he never stopped dreaming of having his own record company.
Explaining his fallout with Universal and starting his own record label (Inkabi Records), Zulu said there was a misunderstanding on his way of life and they wanted him to change.
“What was difficult for me, at the time was that we did not understand each other with the company that I was under.
“They would say to me: ‘Zulu, where have you seen a rapper dressed in Brentwood, who drives taxis and expresses himself the way I do?’
“One cannot blame the company. The problem was that they met someone who is doing something different from what they wanted.
“Our vision was not aligned- hence I took the decision to go independent and start my own label.”
He also added that he will always relate to his roots and will never abandon them for anything.
“And although I’ve moved to Jo’burg, I’m still deeply rooted in KZN. I have created an identity for myself, Ushuni Wenkabi’ and everything I create must fit in with that to ensure that I stay true to who I am.”