Viwo Kulati aggressively defends her place in the music industry

  • Viwo Kulati asserts herself firmly in the music industry.
  • Viwo Kulati boldly claims her space in music scene
Viwo Kulati aggressively defends her place in the music industry
Viwo Kulati aggressively defends her place in the music industry


Viwo Kulati, soulful singer, has modelled her talents after those of her idol, American singer Lalah Hathaway. She is renowned for her strong, crystal-clear voice and poised appearance.

The 26-year-old soulful vocalist, whose real name is Viwolwethu Kulati, is quickly making name for herself in South Africa’s jazz scene. She has performed onstage alongside artists such as the renowned singer-songwriter Thandiswa Mazwai, the queen of neo-soul Zonke Dikana, the rock band Blk Jks, and the performance art collective The Brother Moves On.

“I’ve always looked up to Lalah Hathaway– I the way she puts emotion to songs and her delivery on some of her notes when she sings is immaculate. Her singing is so effortless, something I admire and hope to execute well one day,” the jazz enthusiast said.

“Lalah is such raw talent. Her tone makes her unique and sets her apart from other musicians. I how flexible she is in tackling other genres. From watching her performances, I’ve learnt that I shouldn’t be afraid to dig deep within myself and become as vulnerable as possible with my voice. I’ve also learnt not to be afraid of tacking low-range notes.”  

She was exposed to the yearly National Arts Festival at young age, which helped her develop a of music and an appreciation for the arts. Viwo Kulati is from the Eastern Cape town of Makhanda.


Her father, who exposed her to variety of musical genres, was another factor in fostering her in music.

 “ in household where you’d hear lot of reggae songs. My father would play Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer,” she recalls.

“Having been exposed to such music at a very young age has shaped my outlook and perception of music as a singer. I’ve learnt to appreciate other genres and not only jazz… that’s why I have a deep appreciation for R&B and Afro-soul.”

Though due to her early exposure to music, Kulati became more involved in school musical activities and went on to study music and classical voice at Victoria Girls’ High School. She is now finishing her jazz vocalist degree at Wits.

Kulati recently discovered her voice through her new album, Love, which is centred on the Bible verse “1 Corinthians 13” and communicates her thoughts on how people need love. As she continues to balance a burgeoning music career and education, Kulati recently found her voice.

In front of a small crowd in Braamfontein, Kulati recently gave a live performance of her newest work, which she described as the year’s high point.

“I have always wanted to find my voice and thanks to my producer Wilson Okafor, who pushed me to find myself as a singer, I managed to touch on the fact that we are nothing without love. is beautiful, especially if you share it with yourself or other people,” the singer expresses.

“We often put other things on the pedestal forgetting that we are human and need love… we are incomplete without love. The Bible also says that everything else iyaphela [it ends] but is eternal. In short, the EP is based on that entire scenario. The EP is, however, not a gospel genre but an RNB & Soul genre.”

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