by Silke Hartung

InDuna: The Underdog Steps Out

by Silke Hartung

InDuna: The Underdog Steps Out

Previously performing under his first name, Tyson Nemukula has recently changed his stage persona to InDuna. Prolific in writing and recording, this June he is following up his under-the-radar-gem debut EP, ‘Dreams Of An Underdog’, with a new single. Black Man Running is a hard-hitting track born out of real-life childhood experiences on the streets of South Africa. 

Since we’ve last talked you’ve changed your stage name from Tyson to InDuna – what does that stand for? 

The word ‘induna’ means advisor, great leader, ambassador, headman, or commander of warriors. It pretty much means chief/king. The reason I changed my name was because Tyson is so normal and isn’t very intriguing. I wanted a name that had weight to it and meaning to me. I did some research about South Africa and its traditions along with my traditions and Induna came up and caught my eye. 

What aspect of changing your stage name did you find hardest? 

To be honest I did not put much thought into it. I knew I might lose people in the process when I started a new page and everything, but this was a new start for me doing things the way I like. 

Your debut EP has been out for little over a year. How does the new sound of InDuna compare to ‘Dreams Of An Underdog’? 

From my last EP to what I’ve just done it’s a little different, but much better! I feel like I’ve grown and I can’t wait to show this whole new side. I still incorporate my African roots into my music as I did before, but I feel my sound has matured.  

You came to NZ when you were still a kid. Can you tell us a little about how the chance came up to move? 

Back in South Africa, it was different. I pretty much grew up in the streets with all the challenges that came with living in that kind of environment. At one point I was in an orphanage and that’s how I met the family that brought me here to New Zealand. With that experience came many other changes and challenges.  

Your single Black Man Running picks up on being a child in South Africa, and it’s quite a grim picture you’re painting.  

This has been a song long overdue. I’ve been trying to find a way to express and speak about the things I saw and went through as a kid. This song pretty much came about when I was sitting in my room with no lights on, and I just felt like screaming and crying. I was struggling to process my emotions. So, I put on the mic, screamed into it and that’s how the song was born. 

What gear did you use to create sound? 

My screaming was the bass of the song with reverb. I added some church bells because I wanted it to have a funeral vibe, like someone had died. I used ProTools to do the vocal recordings and I used Logic and FL Studio to produce the track and the demo. 

Was anyone else involved with recording of the song? 

Toby Lloyd from Tiny Triumph Recordings was involved with the recording and final production stages. Other than that, I pretty much produced the track and did all the writing. I did have my mate James look over the lyrics on the first verse to make sure that I was saying what I wanted to and if there were any better ways to express myself.  

If you could ask one thing from Kiwis to make life better for people of colour, what would you ask from them?

Treat people like how you would want to be treated…

You cite ZA singer, the late ‘Madonna of the townships’ Brenda Fassie, as an early inspiration. She’s frequently mentioned by other famous South Africans, like presenter Trevor Noah, why do you think? 

When I listen to her now it just reminds me of my childhood and that sense of hope that I always carry around. That everything will be alright. I think Brenda Fassie’s music is amazing. If you’re looking to listen to something different then I would recommend going and checking out her greatest hits collection, and then definitely dive in deeper if you start liking it.