David Jenkins known to many as Qadas is an inspiring 21 year old maskandi muscian who hails from the depths of Empangeni. He started singing at the age of 12 after discovering the techniques of how to play the guitar.
It is very seldom to see white people entering the maskandi scene , “at the age of 9 I developed a passionate interest in the Zulu culture and through that interest I discovered traditional maskandi music” said David.
The privilege of having a supportive family that encouraged him to follow his dreams of becoming a professional musican in this particular genre, played an enormous role, in his career take off. His music is influenced by big heavy weights such as Phuzekhemisi and the orignal white Zulu Johnny Clegg.
There is no language barrier as he is able to speak isiZulu fluently. He released his debut album “Child of Africa” in 2011. But not all has been sweet as there have been some glitches in the industry, ”the music industry is full of challenges, and I think no artist can say he or she has had a completely smooth journey. “Regarding Maskandi artists, it is quite tough nowadays as the genre is not as strong and popular as it was in the past decade, especially for muso’s playing traditional maskandi music,” said David.
The outline on the type of songs he sings varies from traditional maskandi to western, as well as contemporary styles bringing in English lyrics . The subject matter ranges from current issues such as politics, the environment and relationships. In 2011 at the SATMAS (SOUTH AFRICAN TRADITIONAL MUSIC AWARDS), he was nominated for best upcoming artist. He also performed in the USA , where he received positive feedback. Female admirers will be glad to know that he is single.
With the current trend of people becoming musicans overnight, David said, “It is important for people to follow their dreams and passions, however never be afraid to accept criticism and advice and before you venture into something always do research.” He is currently working on new material for his upcoming album which is due to be released in the next couple of months. Many people compare him to the legendary Johny Clegg. “Well it makes sense for the general public to associate myself with Johny Clegg, as we are similar, regarding the nature of our work, and the fact that there is no one else really to compare to. The sad thing is the tv and radio industry does not give enough airplay for such talent so exposure is often limited,” he said.