Saturday, March 25, 2023

Freshlyground to spice up Independence celebrations

Fresh off setting the world ablaze with their magnificent collaboration with Colombian R’n’B superstar to produce “Waka Waka”, one of the official songs for the 2010 World Cup, four-time South African Music Award winners, Freshlyground, are expected to thrill local fans and music lovers with two shows billed for Gaborone International Convention Centre on the 29th and 30th September.

Freshlyground was formed in early 2002, and is made up of seven talented and diverse musicians from South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. It is fronted by the diminutive but dynamic Zolani Mahola; the band exudes a live performance energy that has been the bedrock of their success.

The experienced rhythm section of Peter Cohen (drums) & Josh Hawks (bass) is complimented by guitarist Julio Sigauque, keyboardist Seredeal Scheepers, Simon Attwell (flute, mbira, sax and harmonica) and violinist Kyla Rose Smith.

Although hailing from diverse backgrounds, between them the band’s members weave a musical magic that is highly infectious and undeniably groovy.

In 2003, Freshly Ground launched their debut album, Jika Jika, under their own Freeground Records label, the immediate success of which firmly cemented the band as one of South Africa’s most successful young acts.

Their second studio album was Nomvula in July 2004.

Nomvula was recorded and produced by JB Arthur and Sibusiso Victor Masondo.
The album sparked interest from Sony BMG Africa, who signed the band and released Nomvula in September that year. Radio quickly picked up on the single ‘Doo Be Doo’ and the catchy song went on to become a crossover favourite amongst a diverse spread of stations and their listeners.
‘Doo Be Doo’, which became an instant hit locally, was the most played song in South Africa in 2005.

The major success of ‘Doo Be Doo’ was followed by the singles ‘I’d Like’, ‘Zithande’, ‘Things Have Changed’ and the title track of the album Nomvula. The album sold 300 000 units in South Africa alone- earning it multi-platinum status.

The success and broad appeal of the band was celebrated in November 2006 when Freshlyground won the MTV Europe Award in the category Best African Act. The award placed the band firmly on the international music map and earned them further recognition on home soil as significant South African cultural exports.

The success of Nomvula was followed by that of Ma Cheri, released in September 2007. The album’s release was followed by a major South African tour attended by over 25 000 people across four cities.

The tour was produced by Freshlyground and supported by Volkswagen South Africa. It successfully raised the performance and production standards of local touring, putting the band on par with international acts in terms of production scale and value. Ma Cheri sold multi platinum in South Africa and the single Pot Belly became another major crossover success In 2009, the group did 4 sold out tours in Europe. They also toured for the first time in China, the United States of America and Canada, making the band one of a handful of South African acts to have a successful and sustainable career both internationally and at home.


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