On: Sun-El Musician

Akanamali may have quickly shot up the charts, but its creator, Sun-El Musician, is no overnight sensation, writes Helen Herimbi By the time Sanele “Sun-El Musician” Sithole had a smash single with his name as the artist on it, it had been 10 years since he first fell in love with producing music. In 2017, he collaborated with singer-songwriter, Samthing Soweto, for a collosal anthem that became a serious contender for song of the year. The song was Akanamali. But how did he get to that point? Hailing from Rosetta in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, Sun-El’s father instilled in him a love for music ranging from mbaqanga to disco. But over time, he became more interested in sports. “In high school, I was a soccer and cricket captain throughout the years,” Sun-El told me over drinks in Johannesburg, where he now lives. “When people see me today they say: ‘Oh, I thought you were going to grow up to be a cricketer or a professional soccer player.’ I always wanted to do something with my life but I just didn’t see myself sitting at a desk forever. In 2007, I went to the University of KwaZulu-Natal and enrolled in a bridging course that would allow me to study something in the sciences. But I lost interest as time went on and failed my first year.” He continues: “I was just passionate about computers. And then I stumbled across music production so I was like: ‘Wait, hold on, I get to use computers and still enjoy something I love?’ So I stayed at my gran’s house for two years just making beats.” By then, both his parents had passed on and Sun-El says: “It was tough, as I was starting to find myself as a young man, but my gran helped in any way she could.  What helped Sun-El find his way was the rhythm. That first year at varsity, Sun-El recalls: “I went to a bash at UKZN and DJ Tira was on the decks. I danced the whole night, so I was like: ‘How can I DJ and make Read More …