Authentic, elegant, compassionate, exuberant and soulfully jazzy, these are some of the words to describe Lindiwe Maxolo’s debut album simply titled “Time”.
The album title, I believe was inspired by her journey and experience in the music industry as a seasoned performer who must have now felt it was time to find her voice and tell the world what she’s all about through her own album. The opening song on the album, “Let It Rain” warms you up to the rest of the album, while the second song “Thuthuzeka” drives one into a beautiful trance with its deeply rooted instrumentals that will take you back to your roots. One of the most appealing aspects about this album is that Lindiwe plays around with different styles of music, there’s a bit of bossa nova, blues, and neo soul. She was able to fuse all of this while at the same time keeping it proudly African.
Original material is interesting with mostly impressionistic lyrics. The production on the album is splendid, with a heavyweight producer Nduduzo Makhathini on the keys. If you enjoy the likes of Sibongile Khumalo, Simphiwe Dana, Thandiswa Mazwai, then you will enjoy this album. I usually review the latest pop releases, but I couldn’t resist to share this one. If you’re not a fan of this kind of music, then this is one album that could possibly open up new areas of musical interests for you. All in all, I’ve enjoyed this album, I give it a stamp of approval, a must have, “P.Mash” certified!
There’s a tendency here in South Africa of not celebrating our music, but I don’t blame it much on us the consumers, I blame it on the record companies. I was looking at Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album, the album was released in 1982, after that the album has been reissued/re-released several times into different editions, containing remastered songs, alternate versions of the songs, previously unreleased songs. The album is celebrated, it’s heritage to the Americans. So this got me thinking, why there isn’t something like that here in Mzansi? There are so many local albums that I consider classics and I would love to see them being remastered and reissued. I had most of these albums on cassettes but they are nowhere to be found on CDs! Especially the 90’s kwaito, and mid-tempo house era.
So this year I want to celebrate an album that I think it’s significant, ”Mkhukhu Funkshen” by Skwatta Kamp. The album was released in 2003 in the era that local Hip Hop was on the rise. For me ”Mkhukhu Funkshen” was one of the first local Hip Hop albums to do well commercially. The first single “Umoya” was such a smash hit, everybody loved it – even my O’lady loved it. “Umoya” was one of those songs that hit you instantly weather you’re into Hip Hop or not. The album was well made, well produced and I just couldn’t skip a track! I remember Lira sang the chorus for “Eskhaleni” and honestly back then I never thought she would be this far (Not in a bad way though). Listening to “Eskhaleni” now just made me realise how far she has come. When ”Mkhukhu Funkshen” came out, everybody wanted to be a rapper, even I wanted to be a rapper. The album became a land mark for Mzansi Hip Hop from 2003 to now, it kind of opened doors for other Hip Hop cats because they wanted to compete with Skwatta Kamp. A lot of underground Hip Hop cats came out on the surface, cats like H20, Zulu Mobb, Cashless Society and others. I am not that clued up about Hip Hop but I think Skwatta Kamp made people appreciate local Hip Hop more, after ”Mkhukhu Funkshen” people began to appreciate movements like Motswako. Unfortunately I had this album on cassette when it came out, now I can’t seem to find it anywhere and I know if there are people who still have it on CD, chances are it might be super scratched.
It’s been a decade since the release of this great classic album and I know Skwatta Kamp released several albums before ”Mkhukhu Funkshen” and after. Bozza, Flabba, Shuga Smaks, Nemza and Slikour have done some solo albums, but I wonder what happened to Infa and Nish? So this year I commemorate this album and I wish it could be reissued as a 10th anniversary deluxe edition, and if there was a way, it would be gold plated. Big Up, I Salute Ma’gents.
Unfortunately due to the rapid pace life seems to travel at, I never have time to ever listen to music, but when I do get time it has to be have been worth that precious minute. So because I never have time for things like fun or social activities I was invited/forced to a performance by a good friend of mine and the opening act was a young man who for once in my life made me shut up and give him my undivided attention the minute he opened his mouth to sing.
There is just something about Sabelo Mthembu’s voice that has me believing and knowing for a fact that this young man will become the next big thing to hit SA’s music scene in 2013.
His voice is husky yet also like silk. Rough and rugged, but also perfectly smooth and pure. I’m so happy that when he gets nominated at the SAMA’s or Metro’s this year in the Best New Comer category I will be one of those people who will sit back from my couch and say “Kasi Times told you so”. His music speaks to the heart in that he sings about love, life and brotherly affection in a cheerful yet soulful manner with a sprinkle of quality jazz elements in it. Rare for someone his age. I’m no Simon Cowell or Randal Abrahams but “Songs of Brotherhood” is an album I would buy any day and rock in my car, phone, ipod, stereo or hi-fi.
The former SA idols contestant sings about things I can relate to, things I aspire to feel and his beats are simply …beautiful. I love each and every track because I can tell he did not rush himself in creating songs like “Ungumfowetu”, “Phola nhliziyo” or “Ofana nawe” which by the way is the title track to Thami Ngubeni’s SABC talk show “Life with Thami”. I can tell through tracks like “Dreaming in Cairo” that this brother is serious about his talent. I am a sucker for anything related to love so the song “Angiphili mawungekho” is my favourite/national anthem.
He sings both in vernac and English and has a voice so unique you would have to hear it for yourself in order to get what I am going on about. But if I would try to compare his vocal quality to anyone famous I would drop names like Anthony Hamilton, John Legend and Lemar except the difference is that he is unique in that he does it in a proudly Mzansi way. “Songs of brotherhood” drops at the end of February 2013. It’s a must have.
A friend showed me a tweet of someone saying that “R&B is not for South Africans and it’s not our thing unless you’re Kabomo.” My friend retweeted and said “What a load of crap! Has this person ever heard of RJ Benjamin, S.Davis, Brian Temba, Nothende, and What about Afrotraction? I love Kabomo’s work but he’s certainly NOT the only artist who’s making some good R&B/Neo-Soul, this person might have been living under a rock or something.”
The R&B scene in Mzansi is getting better and even more interesting, with new artists coming through. Amongst the Newbies in this circle is Hlubi – The Twiin, with his debut album titled “Gemini”. Hlubi-The Twiin, Born Hlubi Kwebulana independently released his album. He describes it as a rare R&B album sung in isiXhosa, drawing influences from the likes of Boyz II Men, Ringo Madlingozi and Ladysmith Black Mambazo just to name a few. What I love the most about independent artists is that their talent is raw, and this allows them to let their creative juices flow. I love the passion in this album; I felt it from the first track, to the very last track. The album comprises of 13 tracks, including 4 interludes and a hidden track. “Gemini” took 5 years in the making, all songs are composed, written arranged and produced by Hlubi, with a couple of tracks co-produced and co-arranged by guitarist, Denver L. Damons.
The album touches on themes like love, Faith and his life experiences. My favourite song is “Andilelanga’’ as well as the current single on the airwaves “Ngokabani Ke Lo”. The beauty about this album is that Hlubi has managed to create his own soulful sound through lines of harmonies in vernacular.
Connect to him on Twitter: @hlubi2win and on Facebook: “Hlubi Twiin”
There I was, the day before the world was said to come to an end, sitting opposite a woman who possessed self-confidence and spunk, a woman who knew how to drive a crowd buck wild. Having seen her perform a number of times I let out a sigh of relief when this young lady turned out to be as open and carefree during our one-on-one interview as she is on stage, she came through with Tshepang Ramoba who is her manager and just so happens to run Post Post Entertainment and is the drummer for the rock band BLK JK.
The previous weekend, 16th December, I had witnessed this young thing full of spunk take control of the crowd at King Kong in Jeppestown. She was the first to perform in an impressive line-up which included Spoek Mathambo, The Brother Moves On and the BLK JKS. I’m sure everyone who witnessed the performance will agree with me on this one: Moonchild came out tops! Her performance was fresh, her wardrobe was insane and I struggled to get shots of her as her wild fans danced up a frenzy and sang along, word-for-word. And she doesn’t even have an album out yet. Her EP will be coming out in February, though.
Amandla:First things first, how did you come to choose the name, Moonchild?
Moonchild: Moonchild, ‘child of the moon’, was my mom’s nickname for me.
Amandla: When did it dawn on you that you wanted to be an entertainer?
Moonchild: I entered the world of entertainment at six months. I started off as an Edgars catalogue baby, then went on to model for PEP stores for a year. After modelling I became a dancer. I did traditional dancing for a while but that did not last for long because of the whole going around topless thing. That was followed by ballroom and Latin dancing, where we competed across the country. In primary school I started a group that borrowed from the Spice Girls; they didn’t know the group so I’d put my lyrics to the Spice Girls’ songs. My mom was very involved, she would organize us gigs and so we would also get paid. You can say that I have been an entertainer all my life. I was never in choirs because I can’t stand being in the background. In all the groups I have been in, I’d be the Beyonce of the group.
Amandla:What sets you apart from other female artists in South Africa? Moonchild: I am an entire brand. I am a qualified fashion designer. I can create whatever comes to mind so I have that advantage of styling myself and being in control of my image. Musically, I believe in myself. I know I’m dope but I don’t think I know it all. I’m constantly learning and surround myself with people I can learn from without thinking that they are better than me. I am very confident, not arrogant.
Amandla:A lot of people have compared you to Nicki Minaj; the crazy hair, the crazy persona and the crazy sound, especially in Red Eye… Moonchild: Oh my word! I had red hair back in 2006 and on stage I’ve always done that eye thing. I’m even known as the ‘Eye Chick’ in Durban. The people in Durban know this is how I have been way before Nicki Minaj came along, but it’s different in Joburg. I’d go out of my mind if I took it to heart. I recorded Red Eye using a British accent in 2007 and then Nicki Minaj came along and did it too and I’m like… [pulls an ‘are you serious’ facial expression]. People love comparing; I’ve been compared to Simphiwe Dana too. I don’t even sound or look like her.
Amandla: How would you describe your music? Moonchild: I call it alternative soul. Some people call it electro kwaito, others rock soul. It’s hard to describe.
Amandla:We have quite a large number of Xhosa women in the industry and they tend to sing songs which are both of the same genre and in their mother tongue. Are you planning on joining this trend? Moonchild: No. I have a bass which allows me to create any type of sound. I could easily sing those types of songs but I choose not to.
Amandla: What do you aim to achieve every time you get on stage? Moonchild: I want people to talk about me after the performance. I want them to come back for more. I want my look to interest them even before they know what it is I do. I want to create that interest in me.
Amandla: Who are your favourite artists? Moonchild: I listen to Paloma Faith; I love her writing style. I also love Tina Turner, her stage control is amazing, and Beyonce’s too. Bricks and Professor also kill it for me.
Amandla:Any local female artists? Moonchild: [a long pause] I love Thandiswa Mazwai. I love her music and I love her as a person. I also love Tshepang (BLK JKS)
Moonchild: Yes. And Busi Mhlongo. There’s no one else in South Africa who really challenges me so that’s it.
Amandla:Who would you love to work with? Moonchild: Spoek Mathambo. I’m actually featuring him on a track that will be on my EP. And, because no dream is too big, I’d love to work with Beyoncé. I’d also love to work with ubab’ Hugh Masekela and the BLK JKS. I remember watching the band on STR CRD as a teenager and there was this guy who talked so much [looks at Tshepang]. Little did I know then that I’d be working with them. So that’s done. Then there’s Bricks; I’d like to see what we can come up with. When he works with hip hop guys he still rips them and he’s so kwaito. He just brings it for me.
Well, Moonchild sure did bring it on the 16th. This super confident woman is sure to blow up this year. Her work ethic and insane yet exciting stage presence are set to guarantee her a space among the stars. After all, that’s where you’d expect to find a Moonchild…
Ok, it’s a wrap
It’s amazing how good our music has become over the years, Some of the pleasures of working in a music store, (apart from the fact that I love music) is that I get to see the trends in what’s selling, and who exactly buys what’s selling, I can from there mentally conclude my own stats. Foreign music still rules in sales, however, it’s good to see that people are buying more local music, not merely for the sake of supporting artists but for the love of good music.There have been some interesting releases this year, I wish I could talk about them all, but for the sake of time and space, I’ll highlight just a few, which I think have the potential to be SAMA winners in 2013.
Kabomo – All Things Grey
This album has set a new landmark for neo soul music in Mzansi since the release of RJ Benjamin’s “Who am I”. The first single “Busiswe” got some heavy airplay, people welcomed the unique sound of neo soul, and embraced it with open arms. When the album came out, Kabomo was testing the market by printing out a few copies, to his surprise when those few copies hit the stores, they got sold out within a few weeks. Most stores were out of stock until Kabomo got a new distribution deal and the album became widely available. Great production, great song writing – if this album doesn’t win a SAMA award, I’ll boycott the award ceremony! Struu!
The Muffinz – Have You Heard?
Still on that neo soul tip, by the way, I keep using the term “neo soul” if you’re wondering what it is, it means “new soul”. Neo soul is an alternative genre of soul that originated in America by artists such as Maxwell. It fuses elements of Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop and sometimes the spoken word. What I love about The Muffinz is the fact that they are so unique it’s actually hard to classify them. I love the musicianship that they possess, they play real instruments and it’s a pleasure to watch them live. What I love about this album is that it’s neo soul delivered in an African style.
I sometimes feel that they are a bit overrated, which is a good thing because it simply means the support they have is massive. I’m a jazz lover, I can’t stand acapella. However, I can’t mention great albums without including “The Soil”. This trio has brought a fresh, organic sound. They deliver love songs like never before. The song “Inkomo” got some heavy air play, so much so that I ended up liking it. Lovely album.
Tokollo – Heist
I often hear people saying kwaito is dead, blah blah blah! The Durban guys have reinvented Kwaito, and took it to a whole new level, although it will never be the same as the 90’s, it’s cool, music evolves all the time. Tokollo, aka Magesh came to the rescue with his latest album titled “Heist”. This album just took me back to when Kwaito used to be big. The first single from this album “Sgidi” proves that even if kwaito has changed, some artists like Magesh have managed to stay true to the original kwaito sound we all know. Magesh, I salute baba!!
Ralf Gum – Never Leaves You
House music is the fastest growing genre in Mzansi, there have been a lot of releases that were great, there have been quite a few favourites, but if I had to pick all of them I’ll fill up the KT page! These include the likes of Da Vinci, Lulo Café, Pepsi, and of course the December releases that are in the fight for the song that will get us into the new year on the 31st of December 2012, these include the likes of Professor, Mahoota, L’Vovo, Fistaz Mixwell, Oskido and Black Coffee, who made history for the release of his DVD “Africa Rising “ . I feel as if his album will only peak next year, there isn’t too much noise about it yet… I’m a sucker for deep house, with vocals and Ralf Gum delivered this album brilliantly, the song “Take Me to My Love” has been on repeat on my stereo, with a nostalgic velvet voice of Monique Bingham that took me back to the days of the song “(We Had ) A Thing” she did with Abstract Truth. I could go on and on about this album, it’s a great album, my favourite house album to come out this year.
So what’s your favourite album to come out in 2012?
By Peter “P.Mash” Mashabane
We step inside Kitchener’s at sunset, the smoke hangs low, swaying and dazed as bongo drums mixed with saxophone and double bass serenade the lazy Sunday afternoon crowd. Everything seems to happen in slow motion. The hive is tranquil and conversations swirl up to catch the smoke above.
We have been transported to another planet. After settling into the God-knows-how-old worn and torn wine red leather couch, the Xhosa girl beside me (yeah, I know how to spot my own kind) dadada-ed along to the silky thick vibrations of the double bass. Within a matter of seconds this young woman shuddered and exclaimed: “Did you hear that bass? It’s better than sex!” I heard that bass…
The band that is responsible for this poor girl’s musical orgasm is Planet Lindela. They are a three-piece band from Soweto. And you know what they say about first appearances… The band played their cards (and instruments, of course) very well. I am drawn to this band,finding myself intoxicated not by the wine glass resting between my fingers but by the deep and emotional renderings of the instruments and authentic voices. This type of music induces conversation: good,intellectually stimulating conversation. This kind of music is what some would call food for the soul.
Much thanks to the passionate players of Planet Lindela for taking us to their world. Until we meet again.
Music. Whether you can hold a note or move to a beat, everyone (I pray you’re not the minority) is capable of having his or her emotions twisted and turned. We, in Johannesburg, are fortunate enough to have quite a number of bands and artists who tickle our souls, warm our hearts and cause our feet to tap and our mid-regions to gyrate to their hypnotic palpitations. As much as good music exists in Joburg, we often leave these encounters to chance: not this time.
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon I had an interview with Vosloorus’ own, Impande Core. Impande, as the band is affectionately known to fans, is a diverse 6-member band that creates music, for funky youngsters, à la mode sisters and brothers, Black Diamonds, abobaba… “Everyone, even the magogos.”
Days prior to my interview with Impande, I asked a number of random individuals if they knew of Impande Core. I asked the ever-hyper UJ and Wits kids and also a number of young adults. Of about twenty something people I spoke to, only one recalled the band, “What aboooout you…” he sang. An impromptu air punch and I went home less disappointed.
Impande Core is one of those bands we should know about, more so if you reside in this melting pot of a city. So it was that on that Sunday afternoon I sat down with the band, well two of the guys: Simangaliso Mfula (vocals) and Nkululeko Viyana (bass).
Our interview took place at a chilled corner of Arts on Main called Uncle Merve’s. The sun was out and people leisurely strolled past, adding to the cool vibe. The guys arrived and after some small talk, our little chat was underway.
Amandla: You have labelled your style of music ‘Carrot Funk’: can you explain what that is?
Nkululeko: The name Impande means root and a carrot is a root…
Simanga: Can I interrupt? You know how they say carrots are good for your eyesight? Well, our music is good for your ear sight.
(A round of laughter)
Amandla: Who would you say you make this music for? Simanga: For everyone. Young. Old. New.
Amandla: So even umagogo can groove to your music? Simanga: Ja, ja.
Amandla:It’s been 8 years since the band started and you’re still together. Has it been an easy decision to stick at it and can we rest assured that Impande will be around for the next 8, hopefully more, years?
Simanga: Music. Individually, we like each other’s style.
Nkululeko: We’re like blood, you know. We feed off each other’s’ energy and we’re family…
Simanga: We were friends before we started playing together. We have known each other for quite a long time. We didn’t even know we could play this well until we jammed together.
Amandla: Your track, What About You, was huge on the airwaves: can we expect more of your music on radio and TV in the near future?
(The band’s manager sheds some light)
Thabiso: Definitely something coming up in the near future. We are working on getting more of our music out there.
Amandla: So is it coming out this year? Thabiso: Yes, this year.
Amandla: Impande is huge on the live gig circuit. How important is a live crowd to the band? Simanga: Electric shock. We feed on their energy and also give off our energy; there’s an interaction [with the crowd]. It’s really important.
Amandla with members from Impande Core: Simangaliso and Nkululeko
Amandla: Upcoming performances? Simanga: We have a couple of performances coming up but the best way to find out would be to check our Facebook page: Impande Core Page.
Amandla: Where can we buy or download your music? Thabiso: Communication is so much easier now. We are on Twitter, Facebook and SoundCloud.
While sitting with the guys, it seemed a bit surreal that I was talking to a band which has shared the stage with the likes of local greats such as BLK JKS, Simphiwe Dana and Sibongile Khumalo. They are still very much your laid-back dudes from Vosloorus. Though they still reside moVosloo, Impande Core’s eye is fixed on creating good music that will appease not only our local music-lovers but the international market too. So while anticipating their new material, I will be jumping up and down or swaying in packed venues to the sometimes soothing, sometimes wicked tunes of Impande Core performances. What about you?
Impande Core go LIVE at Pata Pata (Arts on Main) on Friday, 19:30 – See you there.
To succeed in the music business as an artist you must first understand and acknowledge that you are a business, and like any other enterprise, you will need to put together a team that can run and manage your business affairs.
In the New Music Economy, artists need to think differently in order to maximize their opportunities and increase their revenue streams; this means you need a team of experts around you that will help you make the most out of your talent and career. No two artists are the same and therefore, no two artists should have the same exact team structure. I will get to this in a future article.
For now I will look at the key people you need to have in your team if you want to WIN!
The personal manager should be the first person you hire in your team; this is the CEO of your enterprise. This person will provide a strategy to help you materialize your vision, negotiate on your behalf, guide you, protect you and help you make all the difficult decisions.
A personal manager should be someone with ‘smarts’. This person must be passionate about your career, must clearly understand your vision and have a plan to bring it to life, must have an extensive network base, and must be willing to go to the trenches with you.
Once you have appointed a personal manager, it will be that person’s job to find the rest of the team.
“Copping chains is cool but what’s more important is lawyer fees” – Jay-Z (Never Change, Blueprint)
This is really self-explanatory; a lawyer will help you understanding all those difficult law terms they usually throw in a contract to confuse the likes of you and me. If you are going to make any sort of money in the music business, then you are definitely going to have to sign a few contracts.
You don’t need to put the lawyer on a retainer unless you are one of those people that prefer to live on the other side of the law.
“But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – - Carpe – - hear it? – - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.” – Robin Williams (as John Keating in Dead Poets Society)
Before you can leverage your brand equity, you will need to brand yourself first. This is instrumental in today’s music industry climate.
There are 3 main reasons why people don’t buy your music:
They do not like you
They cannot find you
They do not know you exist
Notice that none of the reasons above say: they have no money.
If you are an artist and you are struggling to sell your music, you may want to really look at some of these reasons above and see if any apply to you.
I can never stress enough the importance of creating musical works that are relevant to your community and region. The concept of ‘think local, act global’ not only applies to business but to an artist’s music and personal branding too. Unfortunately in South Africa there seems to be a proliferation of new artists that ‘think global and pretend to act global.’ They live in the sky and create music that is obviously designed to appeal to a New Yorker or an ATLien (a resident of Atlanta, term coined by Outkast,) and then wonder why their music fails to attract a South African audience. That’s because they fail to CONNECT and make music that is relevant to their immediate community.
The market sees this type of artist as a ‘wannabe’ and an impersonator that is too busy trying to mimic their favourite ‘American artist’. The market does not relate to their stories, energies and packaging; even their slang usage is more ‘Ebonics’ than Tsotsi Taal.
I had the opportunity of working with both Skwatta Kamp and Pro Kid early in their careers. The one thing I learned from both these acts was the importance of representing your true self. Through their music and presentation, both these acts were representing elements of the South African kid growing up in the townships. Pro Kid’s “Ungaphel’ Umoya Son” is a great example of a record that connects to the South African audience. On the record, his message of inspiration is specifically designed for a township kid going through hardships and its references are also things we can relate to; things we have seen, experienced and lived.
Thebe’s ‘Bula Boot’ is another great example. Black South Africans have their own way of partying that is unique to us and this record captures that uniqueness to perfection. I can completely relate to it, and I know the majority of Black South Africa can too. Now there’s nothing wrong with making records about ‘poppin’ bottles’ and that sort of thing, however, you have to be mindful of the fact that most people’s reaction to your record will most likely be ‘A se mo States mo’ (translation”: this is not the States). Fans don’t want imported concepts and ideas from their South African artists; they want music they can feel and relate to.
Remember the formula? CwF (Connect with Fans) + RTB (Reason To Buy) = Success.
If you connect with fans, they will want to hear more of your music. In turn, radio stations will increase your rotation, so will music TV channels/programs. Promoters will want you at their shows. Brands will want to use you for endorsements and sync your music in their ad campaigns. That’s how you WIN!!!
We all know Kwaito’s success story. Look at the core of what made the South African youth fall in love with the genre and you will realize that it went beyond the beat and the chants. There was a strong emotional connection; it was our own thing, it gave you a different feeling. I can say the same thing with the early 2000s Hip Hop scene, from Skwatta Kamp and Pro Kid to Hidden Force, H2O, Morafe, Tuks and others.
That was the only time South African Hip Hop artists regularly sold albums in large volumes. Skwatta Kamp’s ‘Mkhukhu Funkshen’ went platinum and so did Pitch Black Afro’s ‘Styling Gel’, Pro Kid’s ‘Heads & Tales’ shipped 15,000 units, and so on… Pro Kid was part of a Smirnoff campaign for their ‘Storm’ brand; he was also the face of the MTN’s campaign for the SAMA Awards. Skwatta was doing big things breaking down doors and putting SA Hip Hop on a whole different level. Right now Teargas, Mi Casa, Big Nuz, DJ Cleo and others are running the game and dominating charts, sales, awards, gigs and etc. They all make music that connects.
Next time you hit that booth, think about whom you are making music for. As the late Dr Mageu would say, “A se mo States Mo!!!”
I’m going to be frank with you. The reason why SA’s cream of the crop dies poor is because you don’t support them. Yes you, the individual reading this!
You would rather buy Lil Wayne’s new album for R180 than to buy AKA’s latest offering for R99 at Musica. Not only do we not buy enough local content but some of the few individuals who do support local music will do so from a pirated DVD/CD or from a 30 gig memory stick plugged into their radio sets.
You and your girlfriends or boys plan movie nights watching American films but can’t be bothered to go and see local films like A Million Colours, State of Violence, or Umtshado. It’s no wonder we have Americans telling Mzansi’s stories or playing lead roles in our own movies, like Red Dust, Cry Freedom, Disgrace and Catch a Fire. It’s because we don’t support and invest in a ticket at Ster Kinekor for just R50, on Tuesdays you get a discount but still, we don’t go!
You would much rather purchase a Gucci or Levi’s t-shirt than buy a local brand like Mantsho, Butan Wear, Head Honcho, Ephymol or Stoned Cherrie.
If people knew just how much work, creativity and genuine old school hustling goes into making a 30 minute show like Intersextions to air on SABC 1 during prime time, I think they would respect TV and watch local content like Dineo’s Diary, Running with the Reps, My World or Culture Shock instead of sticking to Life on the fab lane with Kimora, or Keeping up with the Kardashians, with Kim and her annoying relatives.
Mzansi’s most creative musicians, most gifted painters, designers and singers are all dying broke even though they have this talent that Americans find amazing. When last did you buy or listen to Freshly Ground’s music? Have you taken the time to appreciate the sounds of MXO, HHP or Tuks? Do you know when and where they are performing this year? How much is a ticket? Yet we all flood to the Dome when we hear that chubby guy who doesn’t shave his beard is coming to SA. What’s his name, Rick Ross?
Your excuse for not buying local content cannot be that SA is lacking, because if you think that’s the case, then I hereby declare you ignorant. Hugh Masekela is loved overseas, Nomfusi – that jazz songbird – is amazingly huge in Europe, yet you don’t even know her. Yes, we are different and will not like the same things in life but, for you to overlook artists because they are local and rather copy their CDs than buying them, tells me you’re heartless. I’ve had to watch musicians like H2O, Pebbles and Gommora fizzle away into SA’s archives because their music wasn’t bought by locals. Shame on you!
If we lived in the states I bet Busi Mhlongo, Bhekumuzi Luthuli, Lebo Mathosa, Brenda Fassie, all would have left behind truckloads of money before their passing. But, because you and I didn’t support them while they were alive and still don’t buy their music today, their families and children will remain the hard working citizens that fill up Mzansi’s malls selling overseas products to Africans.
Over the years, Mbuso Khoza has made a name for himself as a backup vocalist for artists such as Thandiswa Mazwai, Siphokozi, and Themba Mkhize. He’s recently featured on a song by Revolution called ‘Angisoze Ngakulibala’ taken off their latest album. He has finally made his long desired career breakthrough by releasing his debut album titled ‘Zilindile.’
The album has been beautifully executed, with an outstanding production which features the likes of Themba Mkhize and Lucas Senyatso, amongst others. The album has been under the guidance of a young producer and pianist, Nduduzo Makhathini, who has also worked with the late Zim Ngqwana, Simphiwe Dana, Feya Faku, and Zamajobe. The album has some contemporary jazz influences with an urban sound, accompanied by true lyrical integrity. On the album, Mbuso takes the listeners through the journey of his life; this is evident on songs like Eshowe and Nabaya, with meaningful lyrical content that many can relate to.
What I love most about this album is that it is authentic and does not try to emulate American music; it truly reflects South African culture, and all songs are in isiZulu. It’s a shame that a lot of people don’t embrace this kind of music anymore. This album is well-crafted, so rich and spiritual and has reminded me that I’m unashamedly African. Chances are, you might not like it the first time, but as you give it time and listen to it over and over again, it will make sense. It’s worth adding to your collection.
- By P.Mash
To stay up to date with where his CD can be purchased, and to get more about him and his music, you can visit:
With being nominated for multiple awards at the 18th annual South African Music Awards, and also being scheduled to perform at the very same event, it’s expected for them to have a hectic schedule around this time. But nevertheless, I got the opportunity to have a telephonic chat with one third of the sensational trio. Here’s what Mo-T, MiCasa’s trumpet player, had to share:
KT: I know you’ve probably been asked this a million times before, but please tell us how you guys got together? Mo-T: Well, we were all scheduled to play at a hotel in Sandton. At that time I didn’t even know who Dr. Duda was. When the time to perform came, we were just randomly put together, and that’s where it all started. After that, we just started making music together.
KT: Was it a childhood dream or just a random moment in your life that saw you taking the music route?
Mo-T: Oh it’s been a childhood dream! I come from a musical family. My father used to play for Mango Groove. So, since I was about five years old, I would just watch my dad play and perform. I was taken away by the experiences and as I grew up, I decided I’d also do music.
KT: Entering into a very well-dipped genre of music in SA, what was the biggest challenge you faced?
Mo-T: Our biggest challenge was not being taken seriously by the industry. However, we really believed in our music and still carried on. In this industry, good musicians don’t have a platform or they’re not taken seriously because their different.
KT: What kind of House music do you guys produce and what’s the biggest influence behind your fresh and different sound? Read the full story
Okay, so anyone who knows me will know that I’ve had a crush on Wandile Molebatsi for as long as the sun has been shining on this green earth! No, not because of his great looks and gorgeous smile; no, of course not! I ain’t that shallow… but that is indeed a bonus.
The reason I’ve loved him so much is because of his resilience and thirst for success in this industry. His constant fight to keep his passion alive; whether it be through his love for music or acting, it is so evident that he’s lifting Mzansi’s name and taking it to places industry legends only dream of.
So, after hunting him down for what felt like forever, I finally got to have just 10 questions to ask him. I wanted to know about his brush with death, where he comes from, his new movie and where he is going next. Here’s what we talked about…
Pops: Where is home and who helped raise you into becoming the talented man you are today?
Wandile: I was born at Lesedi Clinic and grew up in Rockville, Soweto. My parents then moved to the small holdings in Walkerville near the Vaal, in 1999. I am very blessed to have had both my parents in my life. My mother and father raised four boys, so you can imagine the grey hair we gave my poor parents. Their love is, without a doubt, the reason why I am who I am today.
Pops: You were involved in a car accident last year that had us all freaked out. It put you in a coma and here you are, back on our silver screens. What exactly happened?
Wandile: It was a very hard time for my family and friends. I was in ICU for four days, and it was the longest four days of our lives. I had been editing all night at Coal Stove (the production house I started with two of my friends in 2007). I then insisted on driving home – a combination of male bravado and youthful foolishness. My partners had asked me to rather sleep at one of their houses but I’d insisted that I would be fine. I fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed into a tree! I fell unconscious and bled internally. I thank God I didn’t hit anyone! Someone woke up to go see where the enormous bang had come from; the paramedics were called and I was then rushed to hospital and put in ICU.
Pops: Having begun your career in the television industry at a very early age on KTV, and in films like Cry the Beloved Country, what do you love about the bright lights, cameras and call sheets?
Wandile: I love entertaining! I think my mother realised this when I was still very young. Thankfully she was able to channel that toddler energy and found me an agent. I have always been in love with movies and music, and I’m so thankful that I have been able to pursue both. The art of creating a narrative through lyrics or a script, is one that I hope to continually refine and get the platform to express.
Pops: Who has been your major inspiration in your craft and what has kept you pursuing your passion?
Wandile:Otata John Kani and Winston Ntshona have been huge sources of inspiration. They really believed in the craft of theatre, and now film and television, for one to be able to convey more than just emotion, but also a fundamental moral standpoint. They did it first with Struggle/Workshop theatre, and now they are taking on difficult roles on screen.
Pops: You’re not only an actor and a producer, and you’re also a musician, self-taught instrumentalist and a rapper who forms part of a group called UJU. Where and when Read the full story