Bongi Archi (Photo Credit : Howie Combrink and Artwork : Drew Bakker)

Bongi Archi is a name soon to be on everyone’s lips as his powerful debut single Excuse Me releases across all digital platforms on Thursday 11th November, and as he heads into an exciting new phase of his musical journey as a recording artist and singer/songwriter.

While Bongi Archi might be a newcomer for people to start paying attention to in the original music world, he’s instantly recognisable under his birth name Bongi Mthombeni from the many stages he’s graced over the past decade since he burst onto the entertainment scene as a popular member of Idols SA Top 8 in 2010.

He hasn’t stopped working since and is just as comfortable on grand theatre stages, as a special guest artist on Disney Cruiselines that took him around the world, to back on the TV screen in Ons Soek Die Sangerwhere he reached the Top 5; from Joyous Celebration to countless corporate events, Bongi has proven time and again his versatility and popularity with audiences brought about by his vibrant and charming stage presence second to none.

Throughout this time, Bongi has been honing and fine-tuning his song-writing skills, learning from experts and today he gives his fans what they’ve been asking for along the way – original music!

Along with new branding, a stage-name change to Bongi Archi to reflect this exciting next step, Excuse Me is only the beginning of this exhilarating journey.

Written by Bongi Archi in collaboration with Howie Combrink and Neil Engel from The Hit Lab, his love of soul, pop, R&B and Gospel shine through in the instrumentation and vocal delivery of the single.
While developing the sound of the single, the initial reggae feel was changed to bring in Bongi’s love of piano when he sat down at the piano and played it dry for his team. They knew that was the new direction to go.

Members of the public know of his vocal talents, but few realise his formidable skills on piano, drums and bass. Bongi wanted his introduction as a newcomer to the recording world, to reflect that. His compelling vocals round that out to deliver a single that will stick in your head once you’ve listened to it.

Co-producer, Howie Combrink adds more background to the single:
Some artists make music producers’ jobs so much easier and Bongi is one of them. The song is a simple production but his vocal delivery/song-writing and in-studio performance is undoubtedly extraordinary. The heartbeat of the song is his vocal lyrics, melodies and performance accompanied by primarily drums and one grand piano, which drive the feel and overall message of the song.”

Combrink continues;

“I first came across Bongi a number of years ago when he appeared on Idols SA. I loved his vibe and sound and wanted to work with him. We then got to work on Janice Honeyman’s Cinderella the following year and since then we’ve wanted to find a project to collaborate on.

Fast forward 10 years and we have ‘Excuse Me’ – Bongi’s first original music single release. This is the start of an interesting and very exciting future with Bongi Archi.”

His co-producer on the single, Neil Engel adds:

“I’ve always known Bongi as one of the most talented singers I’ve ever performed with. When we went into studio to produce the first single, he showed up with 15 amazing songs he had written. All extremely memorable. He has a talent that runs very deep and we’re working on many more songs. ‘Excuse Me’ is only the beginning..”

Excuse Me is personal for Bongi, as it talks about a time in his life when he was “friend zoned” and wanted to share those feelings in a song, not only for himself, but for others who know the feeling.

Bongi explains:

“This song came about while I was friend zoned for a long time while I was actually in love with this lady. That was the longest friend zone ever”, he chuckles.

He continues; “I felt compelled to write about the experience. The song is very piano driven and very simplified so the story can be told and it sits easily on the listener’s ear.“


Bongi explains;
“Nobody knows my middle name and after sitting down with my sister, she found the true meaning of my name and I was blown away. I want to carry that with me in my career going forward., now as a recording artist.  Embracing my culture and my roots. So, keeping ‘Bongi’ embraces my African name and ‘Archi ‘is new to the world. “

Style and flair has always been important to Bongi and it was vital that his ‘look’ going forward reflects that as well as his enticing stage personality. Music and fashion go hand in hand. Both are unique art forms that showcase feelings, passion and emotion. 

Bongi’s style is as captivating as it is refreshing, and manages to seep through into his debut single, Excuse Me and it’s supporting Music Video.

Bongi concludes;
“I’d like to send out a big ‘Thank You’ to all those that have supported me thus far, and I can’t wait to celebrate this new phase as a recording artist with you all. I’m excited!”

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