We had a chat with her about her business and her music and this is how it turned out:
A: Hey Moozlie. How are you?
Moozlie: I’m good, how are you?
A: All good. Let’s get started with your label. Can you tell me more about that?
Moozlie: So, my label is called Nomuzi Mabena Music and I’m the CEO and the only artist signed to the label at the moment. It manages all aspects of my career, whether as a presenter, model, MC and all my content on social media. We’ve been running for about 3 years, now and as some may know that the first 3 years of you running a company are always the hardest so I’m happy with where we’re going and excited for us to take it to the next level. The best thing about my company is that we also outsource a lot of the functions with other young, independent companies to build together.
A: Collaborations is something that you’ve been known for in the music industry, even opening up to artists that aren’t as popular as you. Do you plan on taking in any of these new artists?
Moozlie: I feel like since the company is so young and the Moozlie brand being so big, I really don’t wanna bite off more than I can chew. As an artist that was once signed to another artist, it can become very conflicting. If I try focusing on other artists while I’m so focused on what I’m doing, it’ll seem like I’m trying to suck them in.
A: You handle your endorsements very differently compared to other artists, what is your brand positioning with those?
Moozlie: We got strategic partnerships with brands, where unlike with most typical endorsement deals where artists get a huge amount of money upfront for a TVC or anything of that sort OR have influencer campaigns where brands make smaller influencers do a ton of work for close to nothing. We’ve positioned ourselves in a way where we create partnerships with these brands. With my album, we have Red Bull who’ve partnered with me to record my album at the Red Bull Studios, we have something really cool that we’re working with GH Mumm which will be tied into the album title, Victory as well. It’s really not about the free stuff, it’s about creating partnerships that will help everyone grow.
A: You’ve innovated so much in your music. Moving from one sub-genre to another sub-genre in Hip-Hop. Where do you find the inspiration and the creativity to move forward?
Moozlie: My music is inspired by the music I’ve listened to and related to in my life. As a tv presenter, I can’t necessarily express myself freely but with music, I can fully express how I feel and how I make music. I’m also a millennial – I’m from the flash generation. We don’t stick to doing just one thing.
A: From artist to artist, do you not think that it’s a bit dangerous to divide your identity is split between so many sounds and so many approaches to sound?
Moozlie: I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing as long as your messaging stays consistent. There are artists like drake that can sing on a song and also give you mad bars. Just do what comes naturally.
A: What’s next for Moozlie?
Moozlie: Holistically, the focus is on mostly on making the best music that I can. On the TV side of things, I can make things shake really easily so I want to focus on getting the music right. I also want to do a tour. I’m also working on some things that I can’t talk about right now but there are collaborations that I’m working on which the people that find me as a fashion icon will look forward to.
A: With your being such a fashion icon, what brands do you like wearing? Local and international?
Moozlie: Internationally, everyone likes the big ones, but I’ve taken a loving for some of South Africa’s local designers. There’s a lotta cool stuff happening in the music industry as well when it comes to fashion. Riky Rick and AKA are doing the most rn.
A: When can we expect new artists to join you in your label?
Moozlie: Right now it’s about us learning more about what happens at record labels and what it takes to run a record label. After my album drops and it is doing well, I’ll have the experience with running the label and by 2020, we’ll have a strong roster of artists.
A: Do you have any artists that catch your eye or ear at the moment?
Moozlie: When you go online, there are so many dope up and coming artists right now, it’s really hard to choose from. Even on my album, I’ve worked with quite a few young artists that are making waves in their lanes at the moment. These artists are the definition of New Age South Africa and I’d talk all day.
A: Universal has taken over the game in a big way – taking literally everyone in the game right now. Both artists on the come up and strong artists are in the roster. Do you think it can be dangerous for the smaller artist?
Moozlie: Every artist has a different road in their lives and being independent isn’t for everyone. Some artists are just creative and need help with the business side of things in their music. Some artists are also just tryna learn the dos and the don’ts of the game, get the connects and then apply it later in their lives. What’s happening with Universal right now shows that there’s something that we’re doing right as an industry.
A: Your music and brand has become very consistent on lifestyle. Should we expect the same in your album?
Moozlie: The album has a bit of everything – like it’s title, it’s about winning and being victorious as a person. I’ve also worked with lots of different artists and producers and they’ve contributed a lot to the sonic direction of their album.
A: Any last words for the ladies out there?
Moozlie: Because it’s Women’s Month right now, just be absolutely glad that you’re female. The Hip Hop world can be a little disadvantaged sometimes, but people are being more perspective and are seeing our superpower. The opportunities do exist, and they are coming.
Moozlie is a phenomenal woman and an amazing artist. What she’s doing is definitely a blueprint for every young female artist to follow in every manner. Happy Women’s Day South Africa and enjoy Moozlie’s hits on Spotify: