Batuk, comprised of Manteiga and acclaimed producer Spoek Mathambo, presented their new offering “Kasi Royalty” during a media preview, on 4 May, and chatted with Blacklight.
By: Lin Aztekville
Main Photo: Aden Ajam
Kasi Royalty is a dedication to the pair’s township roots which influenced who they are. Hailing from Maputo and Jozi, artist and vocalist Manteiga depicts a distinctive blend of Mozambican and South African finesse in her music and art. Her alluring vocals are complemented by Spoek Mathambo’s infectious beats.
The new album comes after their worldwide tour, which saw them perform in Shanghai. Kasi Royalty presents a stellar mixture of up-tempo house tracks, worldly ballads, jazzy beats, midtempo/kwaito grooves and laid back flows that will have everyone jamming any time of day.
Watch the video for Batuk’s single “Move”:
We had a chat with the vocalist Manteiga.
Blacklight: What is your short story, for someone who has never heard of you?
Manteiga: My name is Manteiga, vocalist for Batuk and I am proudly South African. I am half Mozambican and half South African. My music is a journey of nostalgia; I seek to make the kind of music that makes people feel comfortable and good, while reflecting a memory and still sounding fresh. I am all about feeling good and being positive.
Blacklight: How did you meet Spoek Mathambo?
Manteiga: Spoek Matambo approached me. He came to watch one of my theatre productions and he called me and said, “Look, I like your voice, I like your personality, come let’s make music!”
Blacklight: What does “Kasi Royalty “symbolise to you?
Manteiga: I am a kasi girl; I grew up in Reiger Park in the East Rand. People from outside my area didn’t understand my world. Most didn’t value or even realise the beauty of the streets I grew up in and those are the same people who grew up in the most protected estates and suburbs. They had their comfort and I had mine.
Blacklight: What would you say is the narrative of your music?
Manteiga: I’m honest. I draw a lot of inspiration from everything around me. A lot of people ask me about Kasi Royalty and the meaning behind it and it comes from a lot of people feeling sorry for me, for growing up in the township, and not understanding why I grew up there. I believe that we are all royalty regardless of our circumstance; it is just all in our minds.”
Blacklight: What sets you apart from other artists in your genre?
Manteiga: “I AM A NOSTALGIC QUEEN”. I love nostalgia; I like the feeling of being in a comfortable space and how it allows me to offer a new comfort. It is not because I am not nervous, it is not because I am not scared, I just realised that I have to be comfortable in order to make people comfortable. I am not about being looked up to, rather I am here with everyone and being here doesn’t mean we’re at the bottom; we could be way up there and still be real.
Blacklight Where would you like your supporters to take you?
Manteiga: I want my supporters to trust me and I want us to move together. I am not trying to be ahead of anybody – I am not trying to be higher than anybody, I am just expressing myself.
(Gallery) Batuk’s album preview (Photos by Lin Aztekville):