Simphiwe Dana talks about “Nzima” and her forthcoming album
Jun06

Simphiwe Dana talks about “Nzima” and her forthcoming album

1. What music direction are you taking on the new album? For the first time I’m not looking into any one direction. This album is free of boxes. As an artist I have proven enough that I am capable and I have an individual identity. This time around I am challenging myself to explore different sound that are out of my creative scope. 2. Nzima is catchy and moving, how was the writing process? Nzima took me around 3 months to write. 3 months of torture really. It became urgent that I should write the song not only to canonize the memory of those we lost to a massacre, but to also honour their memory and give them a melody that will guide their spirits home. That is why there is the familiar upbeatness that Africa so loves. I infused the pain with the familiar heartbeat of Africa. 3. You said the song is drawn from centuries of pain and violence, and is essentially a prayer for people that have had a history of violence inflicted upon them, is there a specific thing or emotion that made you to write this song? Nzima is about Marikana. On August 16th 2012, South African police were set on unsuspecting protesting miners at the Lonmin mine. The police mowed them down with automatic weapons and 34 lives were lost. The miners were protesting for a wage hike which I did not find unreasonable. They were armed with sticks and some machetes, but they marched peacefully. The order to massacre them will haunt out young democracy. Moreover it makes the call for economic freedom much more urgent. Our people are not free economically. We cannot continue like this. Please read my article here: http://bit.ly/1pXHofN 4. Did you visualise the video for Nzima as you were writing song? No. I did not have to visualise the video, the scene was etched in my mind as I replayed the Lonmin massacre over and over in my head. It was all over the news. With the help of the producer Themba Sibeko and the director Thabang Moleya we worked on the storyline for the video. 6. What can your fans expect from your forthcoming album?  An eargasmic eclectic mix. 7. What do you think is your role as a musician in South Africa today? My role has always been to speak truth to power. To make the days and nights more bearable. To bring hope to desolation. To be the rhythm for your celebration. To remind us of the beauty of our humanness. 8. What kind of stories or conversations would you like to spark with the...

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Song, Love and Voice with Lulu Dikana
May26

Song, Love and Voice with Lulu Dikana

By Nokwanda Shabangu It takes a solid back-bone to sustain one’s soul in the music industry. Which reminds me of those Jill Scott lyrics were she sings how “everything ain’t for everybody”. The music industry is able to strip anyone of their identity and originality. Yet, this artist is one who steers clear of mediocrity, by constantly stretching her mind beyond stereotypical limitations. Lulu Dikana’s career has seen her evolve into an artist who is completely involved in the creation of her artistry. In her latest album, Dikana explores her musical talents of being a songwriter, composer and producer which exhibits her natural dynamism. Here are some interesting points which arose during our conversation together… Q: What message are you trying to convey through your artistry? A: As a Born Again Christian I seek to re-structure peoples understanding of God by reminding them to celebrate their personality and how to truly express love. The song in my album “I Came to Love” encapsulates who I am as a story-teller and singer. I have a deep-rooted relationship with God yet, I write in such a way that my songs resonate with everybody.  I feel liberated within our relationship together (with God) because he  always provides help when I need it… Q: When did this journey begin for you? My mother was an undercover-writer and my father was the musical one. Even though she had a professional career, she wrote a number of short-stories which my sister and I are yet to publish. The musical-melodies are from my father and the lyrical-intelligence is my mothers’ inheritance. This has definitely liberated my understanding of music and life. Although I cannot read or write music, I have the ability to explain my sound. Playing original compositions can easily result in debates as musician’s question “the right notes” although no such thing exists. Composers’ should stay true to their feelings/mood about the song as that creates certainty and consistency in their music. Mediocrity cheapens your sound and you shouldn’t fall victim to that Q: Please tell us a little something about song-writing… A: After a number of melodies swim through my mind and I finally decide to take it upon myself to write one – I have to get into the zone. The strongest melody that grabs my attention is the one which I will begin to develop by, listening to clearly and letting it guide me. Song-writers should give themselves time to allow the process to happen naturally. This means that outside noises, such as trends and self-doubt, should be blocked-out if making sincere music is your intention. Your melody wants to say...

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Photos: Hansa Pilsener Dreamer’s Celebration
May15

Photos: Hansa Pilsener Dreamer’s Celebration

Hansa Pilsener celebrated 20 years of freedom, music and dreamers at the Hansa Pilsener Dreamer’s Celebration held at The Cultural Village in Soweto, Power Park on Saturday, 10 May 2014. With no shortage of artists performing, concert goers jammed for hours of the best kwaito music from early afternoon until after midnight, ending with some of the Kalawa Jazmee heavy weights such as the Brikz, Trompies and Oskido. “It would not have been a concert without our loyal Hansa Pilsener music lovers who attended and who brought with them enthusiasm for the performing artists and dance moves that made the concert a raging success,” said Kelebogile Mashigo, Hansa Pilsener’s Marketing...

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McCoy Mrubata on his musical Journey
Apr25

McCoy Mrubata on his musical Journey

Saxophonist, flute player, band leader and composer McCoy Mrubata, who is based in Johannesburg, will be going to KwaZulu Natal to head up a quintet consisting of Durban-based talents Neil Gonsalves on keys, Paki Peloeole on drums, Sibusiso Mkhize on trumpet and Ildo Nandja on bass. For the performance at Tatham Gallery Mrubata will perform with a trio consisting of Neil Gonsalves and Paki Peloeole. The exciting band will perform lots of music from Mrubata’s forthcoming album titled: The Brasskap Sessions Volume 2. It is a special treat for the people of Kwazulu Natala because the album is not officially released yet and the audiences will be getting a little preview plus the album will be available for sale at the shows. 1. You will be in Durban performing music from your forth coming album: The Brasskap Sessions Volume 2, tell us more about the album? I started recording The Brasskap Sessions Volume 2 In 2012 and it’s the second one of the Brasskap series after the 2008 release. The Idea of these series is to bring together generations of musicians and make a rich sound that will appeal to the young and old. The series also helps the young to get accustomed to recording sessions early in their careers. 2.  What can your fans expect from it? The Durban fans can expect music that is rich, full of emotions. Most of the songs that we’ll be performing are on the forth coming album and inspired by day to day experiences. 3.  How is it different from your other projects? This album is deferent from the previous albums simply because it’s produced by a young producer and pianist, Luyanda Madope.  Luyanda brings out a fresh energetic and emotional McCoy sound. 4.  Who did you work with on this project? The Brasskap Volume 2 features : Feya Faku , Prince Lengwasa , Jabu Magubane , Paul Hanmer , Tlale Makhene and Louis Mhlanga ,  the great  and a legend  Moses Ngwenya , Peter Sklair , Vuli Yeni , Sipho Ndlovu , Mthunzi Mvubu , Mbuso Khoza, Linda Mzimela , Senzo  Sikhakhane , Sthe Bhengu from the band H3 , Lindiwe Mxolo , Thembinkosi Mavimbela , Lwanda Gogwana , Ayanda Sikade , Sisonke Xhonti and Sandile Gontsana. 5. You will be performing with Neil Gonsalves and Paki Peloeole, what are you most looking forward to? Performing with great musicians like Neil Gonzavles, Paki Peloeole, Ildo Nandja and Sbu Mkhize is going to be good as I enjoy different Interpretations of my music especially when the musicians are outstanding like these gentlemen. 6.  How do you think music has evolved from the days you started to now? The...

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Celebrate 20 years of Freedom with Under Madiba Skies
Apr15

Celebrate 20 years of Freedom with Under Madiba Skies

In November 2013, 8 musicians came together to interpret the words of Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech in a special performance where many influences and cultures came together on one stage. French band Gran Kino invited Manelis (DBN), Ayanda Nhlangothi (JHB), Jitsvinger (CPT) and Burni Aman (CPT) to share their vision of South Africa today. The group successfully toured France in 2013 with performances at some of the biggest world music festivals the country knows (such as Festival Generic and The Worlstock Festival). For this year a South African visit (September 2014) and a South American tour (November 2014) are part of the plans of Under Madiba Skies. The team is also already working on their tours for 2015. Several songs were born through meetings between the musicians in South Africa and France. Whether from Durban, rapping in Zulu, from Johannesburg singing with a traditional sweetness or from Cape Town rapping in Afrikaans or in English, the vision is mutual: coming together on one stage, different languages, visions and ideas and, above all, an endless artistic richness.  The music weaves itself together with traditional song, rock, hip hop and acoustic piano/voice duets and show the image of their performers: colourful and carrying out values of peace and openness to the world.  The project is officially endorsed by The Nelson Mandela Foundation as a Mandela tribute. Listen to Brand New below and share your thoughts on the song:  http://snd.sc/1g1RLOm    ...

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