Last week, King Lutendo dropped off his new album called Vharunwa, which means “angels” in Tshivenda. This album is said to be an ode to our guardian angels who watch over us and protect us through our good times and even through our mistakes at times… King Lutendo wrote, produced and engineered the entire project and as far as the sound goes, it’s been said that he tried to craft it in a way that the whole project would feel like one piece while still having diversity in sound as his aim is always to write as if he was scoring for a visual as opposed to just treating it like he is making a rap album.
The project is mostly introspective in themes and topics, every song written from a point of self-reflection, an attempt to better myself my picking the lessons from past mistakes instead of dwelling in guilt. Songs like ‘Lupfumo Lwa Mbilun’i (which translates to real riches are that of the heart) speak on prioritising and putting personal and spiritual wellness above monetary value, ‘Thuso’ speaks on a lot of my personal lows which differ from when I was younger because I understand that all pain is necessary for growth, all of it sent by God to not only test character but to build it, this doesn’t take away from the weight these lows bring because that is just a part of being human, basically consoling myself by telling myself all is happening for a greater reason no matter how much it hurts.
There are 9 tracks in total offered on the album and if you’ve been a King Lutendo fan than this album will surely feel like an elevation of his art because one thing you can belive about him is that he is just different as heard on songs such as ‘Love gone away’ which is said to speak about lessons learnt from past broken relationships or ‘Tshifhinga’ (which means time), a song that speaks about time, and how there’s a greater and grander scheme at work that is beyond our control, and at times it is best to be observant and still instead of trying to force one’s way, it is best to see which way the current is leading and like the leaf in the water just follow it, the pre-destined path set for all that exists.
‘Boat to Sail’ speaks about how there’s a always work to be done, regardless of all that is happening the boat must go forward, the greatest adventurers are those who weather even the toughest storms, the chorus says on a bad day its still a good day to be you. ‘Zwi tshi vhifha/zwi tshi naka’ (when it gets bad, when it gets good) is an appreciation of life and its duality, and an appreciation of love and its duality, both these have extreme highs and lows but the fact that they aren’t a straight line is what makes them beautiful. ‘Baggage claim’ speaks about my trip to Norway, and how the odds of me performing there were so low that while waiting for my luggage in baggage claim I began to realise that I was beyond blessed with a big platform by God which I need to treat as such, a reminder that my destiny is even bigger than myself and is for the purpose of inspiring others who seek to do the same with no level of compromise. ‘Sunday’ is a love song written from the perspective of someone who goes from being able to be with the person they love everyday to hardly ever at all, counting the days and barely making it to each Sunday. ‘Vharunwa’ is the last song and the ode to our guardian angels who watch over us.