Freshlyground gains platinum status

 

  Are you looking for vocals that are relaxed, lively mix of Afro beats, funk, jazz, global and Proudly South African dance music? LOOK NO MORE! Freshlyground is a South African band based in Cape Town. In 2008 they won four SAMA (South African Music Award) awards: ‘Album of the year’, ‘Duo/Group’, ‘Engineer’ and ‘Adult Contemporary Album: English’. Their success is largely due to their hits “I’d like” and their signature track “Nomvula”.

Freshlyground is an Afro-fusion band formed in 2002. It is made up of seven talented, multiracial and multinational musicians. Zolani Mahola (lead vocals), Josh Hawks (bass guitar, vocals), Seredeal Scheepers (keyboards, percussion), Kyla-Rose Smith (violin, vocals), Simon Attwell (flute, mbira, harmonica, saxophone), Julio Sigauque (electric & acoustic guitar) and Peter Cohen (drums). Their music is enjoyed by different age groups, and strongly addresses world problems. The album is full of fire and passion. It start with a bit of fast beat then slow music and ends with fast hit records. All the songs are great and stood out but there were two songs that did not “do it” for me, “Buttercup” and “Vanish”.

Early 2004 the band performed before former President Thabo Mbeki in an event organized as a celebration of the ten years of democracy in South Africa. The band went on to perform alongside with Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi at the Harare International Festival of the Arts. They also performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival. They also travelled globally and performed in various places in Europe. Finally, in late 2004 with all that experience Freshlyground released their very successful album, Nomvula. The lyrics are amazing, touching from poverty, to HIV/AIDS, orphans and government corruption.
The cover suggests rainbow nation in South Africa and that out of the terrible dark days of apartheid has come music that celebrates life. Their focus of music is similar to the music of artists like Mariam Makeba who sang during the apartheid regime to try influence the apartheid government but Freshlyground is more diverse and has sang at the right time in South Africa. In 2010, pop star Shakira from Colombian together with Freshlyground in their song “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” were chosen as the official anthem of the 2010 World Cup. The message it sends is that we need to work together as nations to succeed in this life. This album is worth buying.

By: Athini Qwede

 
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