From working behind the scenes to basking in the spotlight — five minutes with R&B rising star Cristyle

25 June 2024 - 10:58
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Cristyle speaks about his budding music career.
Cristyle speaks about his budding music career.
Image: Supplied

Emerging South African artist Sifiso Mkhwanazi, better known by his stage name Cristyle, believes he is the hottest R&B artist who should be on everyone's radar after he unveiled his latest musical masterpiece, Body Body.

Born and raised in Mpumalanga, Cristyle has always harboured a deep-seated passion for music and the arts. While he's worked behind the scenes in the music space for most of his career, he said he is ready for the spotlight. 

We spoke to the rising star about his music and future ventures.

You wear two hats in the music industry by creating your own R&B sound and composing music for TV. How do these two creative sides influence each other? Does scoring for TV inspire your own music, or vice versa?

“Scoring and composing my commercial music is one and the same thing. The influence is pretty much the same as they both entail telling a story, or narrating a story.”

Which productions have you scored for?

“I have scored for brands such as Street Cred, Cross n Blackwell, Bennie The Spice, eHostela and I have composed for shows such as Rhythm City. My music library is used by most South African television shows and commercials.”

Your new single Body Body is out. Can you walk us through the inspiration behind the song's title and its overall message?

“How the song came about was that I was browsing through beats that I wanted to work on one evening. I was not inspired at all. So something said I should go online and check if there could be any source of inspiration, I landed on my friend’s Facebook Live and I heard him go through some beats he had done. Then this beat came on. Without any hesitation I asked him to forward me the beat so I could listen from the studio sound system and I got inspired. The verses just came and I recorded.”

South Africa has a vibrant music scene. How would you describe the state of R&B in your home country, and how does your music fit into that landscape?

“South African music is amazing. How I would describe my sound is based on the fact that I am a versatile producer. I merge sounds and come up with something unique yet familiar to an average listener.”

If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, on a song, who would it be and why?

“I would like to collaborate with Sjava and Samthing Soweto. I like their soulful approach towards their music.”

What's next for Cristyle? Are there plans for an EP or full album after the single?

“I am working on releasing a streamline of singles that will later be compiled into an album.”

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