The year 2018 has been a memorable one for R ‘n’ B artist Kelvin Sings. But the road to success has not been easy for the youthful artist who was once accused of trying to sound like established artist Bucci.
However, as time went by, Kelvin Sings proved he had a talent to offer that was ingrained to his identity and could not be likened to any other artist that has graced or is gracing this industry.
When he released Victory in August—a song whose chorus is a sample of Todd Dulaney’s Victory Belongs to Jesus—people questioned whether this was a result of his being signed to Letswai music label or his wanting to declare his religious stance through his music. His next release, Kumwamba, released on November 5, had his fans talking with almost a half of them saying he was losing himself to the current music trends while the other half said he was still the same old Kelvin Sings they had grown to love.
Perhaps sensing the commotion that Kumwamba and its predecessor Victory had caused, Kelvin Sings then followed his projects with an EP titled If I’m Being Honest. Abbreviated as IIBH, this project came out on November 23 and has been the one where Kelvin has cleared the air for his fans.
In a brief statement, he said:
“I honestly could not wait for this EP to come out because I had been meaning to say the things I said in the EP to people out there. I had questions that I left unanswered but with this EP I am sure I have answered all of them. This project is about part of my story and where I am so far.”
The project includes tracks such as Za Iyeyo, Mantha, Vuto Si Ine and the pre-released Kumwamba.
If there is one thing that everyone who has gotten a feel of this EP will attest to, it is Kelvin’s excellent delivery voice-wise. Every song in this EP is one where Kelvin not only lets you in on his story lyrically, but emotionally as well.
The artist proved true to his name, and can be proudly described as one of the few who have learnt the art of capturing and sharing his emotions with his listeners..
The first song, Za Iyeyo starts with the love-struck Kelvin Sings that is a common feature in most of his songs. The first verse centres on his meeting a Christian woman that stuns him. In the second verse he talks about the girl turning into what people assume is Jesus.
The creative streak on this song is Kelvin’s ability to keep people guessing and on their toes after a whole three minutes and 46 seconds.
In Mantha, Kelvin makes it explicitly clear that he has surrendered his life to Christ. The song lets you in on the sensation’s battle with letting go of ‘worldly pleasures’ and surrendering himself to God. His repeated use of the phrase ndilibe mantha (I am not afraid) in the chorus is most likely his tweaked version of the popular Psalm 23, and a much needed declaration that “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear evil for God is with me”. This song carries in it a sense of empowerment for its listeners, and has a perfectly timed message that can be tweaked by the listener and serve as a pick-me-up song for many.
The artist’s finding God or being found by God as he puts it in Vuto Si Ine is solidified in the third song on the IIBH EP. Kelvin talks about his being arrogant about the things of God until he has his own encounter with Him. Now having been let in on his journey in his three songs, Kumwamba is a song that emphasises the message that the EP is trying to give which is:
“I am now a Christian and I am being very honest about it and about how my journey has been so far.”
Reacting to the new music, fan Christabel Phiri said on social media: “Kelvin has made a choice. He is singing gospel and so far so good. He is still the same old artist with melodious voice that we adore.”
Whether Kelvin Sings’ current musical direction will affect his career negatively or positively is yet to be determined, but if the ratings and reception of this EP were to be the gauge on which we try to attain that answer, then word would have it that Kelvin’s odds are for him.
If I’m Being Honest EP was produced by Echelon Music under which Kelvin Sings, real name Kelvin Zalimba, is signed.
He has collaborated with artists such as Barry One, now known as Barry Uno, Dali, Suffix, Mastol and now fellow firm-mate, Mista Gray. n