Muzi Mazibuko, 24, is an expressive man who wears his heart (and art) on his sleeve. Whether customising his coat or hooded top, teamed with his trustworthy Palladium boots, his layered look piques one’s interest. Colourful or monochromatic, it’s unique and unpredictable. So when asked to design a limited-edition carrier bag for The Heritage concept store, Mazibuko didn’t hesitate. The design – a black and white sketch of an animated face with the tongue sticking out – is in your face, bold and expressive, much like him. ‘I was in a happy place when I did it and the tongue indicates how outspoken I’m becoming. I also wanted to draw something that showed the energy I was experiencing at the time,’ he says.
Music remains his fi rst love, though, because it provided him with refuge while growing up. Hailing from KwaZulu-Natal, Mazibuko learnt all about music from his brother and is thankful for the way it has shaped his life. It kept him from trouble and not surprisingly he made a career of it when, as he says, ‘I stopped listening to music altogether and began making music I wanted to hear.’ Although music runs in his veins, sketching brings a lot of colour to his life.
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His Twitter feed provides some insight into this: a yellow jacket that was given a fresh coat of paint, an oversized black hooded top delivering the gra tied message ‘Fresher than your idol’, white Vans transformed into summer footwear and painted turquoise, yellow and pink to shake things up and make them stand out. Mazibuko calls his style fresh, clean and hobo-ish.
‘I don’t know, I like the way [hobos] look when their clothes are layered and I can relate to it more than to designer clothes because where I come from, I didn’t have money.’ Fast forward to the present and individuality resonates with him most. ‘I see what other people are wearing and do not want to look like everyone else. I learnt to mess around and it taught me that it’s about how confi dent you are when you’re wearing what you’re wearing,’ he notes.
Last year music fans tuned into his blazing #BringDaNoise mixes on 5FM’s DJ Warras’ show, and his electronica-meets-hip-hop Fire Up the Bongo EP is making waves. He has brought his unique fl are to Rocking the Daisies, Ramfest and Oppikoppi, and is planning to move to Berlin, Germany, as he grows his reach. And this is only the beginning for this modern-day urban Jack of all artistic trades.