New album by one of South Africa's best new singer / songwriter!
Thandiswa Mazwai's long-awaited follow up album Ibokwe (The Goat) recently reached gold status in her native South Africa. Her previous album, Zabalaza (2004) won her a Metro fm award for "Best Female Vocalist", as well as a two South African Music Award (SAMA). Zabalaza also received the Best Produced album from the South African Music Award.
Previously lead vocalist and songwriter of Bongo Maffin, she was one of the founders of the Kwaito music scene, and the album confirms her reputation as one of South Africa's most exciting and relevant songwriters. Ibokwe, for her, was "Something creative and engaging. Something honest and free. Something hip and truly South African."
Ibokwe is rooted in chants and drums, in deep Xhosa and Zulu traditional rhythms and melodies, but jazz and funk, dancehall / reggae, juju and hi-life co-exist peacefully. This affords Thandiswa the opportunity to incorporate influences from many of her musical heroes, ranging from Miles Davis, Fela Kuti, funk pioneer George Clinton, Me'Shell NdegeoCello, and Tanzania's Bi Kidude. Locally, she refers to both Busi Mhlongo and Dorothy Masuka, while Hugh Masekela, young guitarist Dibanisile (Nthom' bethongo) Tutsu from Port St Johns, as well as Ntsiki Mazwai contribute guest performances.
"Thandiswa Mazwai, frontwoman of the cheeky kwaito upstarts Bongo Maffin, has now reinvented herself as a straight-ahead South African diva. Ibokwe is a shinily produced album with an irresistible township swing. South African pride and South African angst combining. Hugh Masekela himself blows trumpet on 'Ingoma', 'Izilo' is modern mbaganga, its heavy beat set off by keyboard goat bleats. Only with 'Vakahina', on which she is joined by the rapper Mandla, do her roots show." ***** (5 stars) Financial Times 10 October.
1. Thongo Lam
6. Vana Vevhu
8. Chom' emdaka