By Kupakwashe Kambasha (3 mins read)
Phemelo Moipolai – also known as Some.Unique.Individual or S.U.i for short – is an alternative contemporary R&B/Soul artist whose music is slowly making a mark on the scene.
The Mafikeng born artist is establishing his base in Johannesburg. But music has always been something that attracted him, and the exposure, coming from his radio gigs as a presenter in stations such as UJ FM and Massive Metro, makes it easier.
“I see music as a form of expression, either to relate or reflect on oneself, just telling my story in the form of art,” says S.U.i, who is a graduate from the Academic of Sound Engineering.
With several songs such as “Mello Music Makes Me Moody” under his sleeve, the independent artist presents his sophomore Extended Play (EP) project “Philophobia”.
It is a catalogue of compositions with mixed emotions, communicating a fear for love yet ironically falling back into its arms. S.U.i pens heartfelt melodies on this multi-genre project.
Contextualising its sonic presence, the project highlights disjointed emotions of love, romance, redemption and jubilation that magically and effortlessly piece together different phases of S.U.i’s sentimental yearnings.
It’s a rather unusual title, Philophobia, which refers to an ancient Greek work that entails the fear of love. According to S.U.i, such a paradox is about having the courage of finding love.
“A lot of people might go in thinking that I’m tryna’ run away from love, but I am running to love and in essence tryna’ conquer the fear of love,” says S.U.i.
This seven-track project features young upcoming creatives: Halo, Black Snow, Veenus, Pasja, Lelo and VB, who contribute quite significantly to its shaping.
“From the visuals to music production, this project is a shining example of what playing to people’s strengths can produce. A stunningly honest piece of art,” says Veenus Mehana, a supporting artist on a song called “Olive Juice”.
An interesting cluster of producers feature on this EP, adding a dynamic sonic presence and top-notch versatility.
The likes of Zane 2 faded, FKA Mash and Black Snow form part of the craftsmen in tuning the finest instruments that enable S.U.i to narrate his ‘philophobic’ feelings.
“Philophobia was a breath of fresh air. Something to get the creative juices really flowing. It gave me an opportunity to learn from other artists and producers and just get out of my box,” says Black Snow, one of the featured producers and artist.
“Meeting different individuals and understanding them and their narratives was nothing short of priceless,” he added.
Expect a short journey of introspection as S.U.i vocally performs an exposé of feelings; much so, a letter to the hopeless lovers seeking solace in this beautiful thing called love. TOJ
Disclosure: The journalist who wrote this review is one of the producers of the album.
Writing by Kupakwashe Kambasha; Editing by Gaby Ndongo and Magnificent Mndebele.
Feature image: S.U.i dressed by @poes.studios in collaboration with @activebrian.
Image courtesy to @ralph_cut.