American smooth jazz saxophonist and songwriter Kirk Whalum had a chance to work with Zahara on her newly released album Umgodi which went Gold in six hours of it’s release.
Kirk featured in two songs from the album Ina Mvula and Umfazi. A collaboration made possible by Kirk’s manager Anjani. The saxophonist expressed how Zahara’s musical skills wormed their way to his heart.
“Man, I’m still buzzing from the Zahara experience,” Kirk says. “She hit me like a giant hug and a tonne of bricks at the same time. She just sang her way right into my heart. She opened her mouth and this thing came out that I’ve never heard before. Maybe I’m sheltered but I’ve never heard that before.
“It’s her simple roots and ability to tell stories. I’m a big India Arie fan. She reminds me of India in that sense, not so much musically.”
Producer of the album Mjakes Thebe also paid compliments to the extra-ordinary work of Kirk and his personality, stating that he is one humble person.
“I’ve never seen any musician as humble as that man [Kirk Whalum],Imagine a great musician like Kirk who’s worked with a whole host of titans, including Whitney Houston, allowing me to produce on those tunes. It was really special. Before he even played he would pray and even pray for Zahara. For me it was a great experience. It humbled me,” said Mjakes.
It’s obvious now what made this album a true masterpiece was team work and the appreciation of each other’s work.