Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nomvula

Tags: , , , , , ,
What can I say! FreshlyGround's NOMVULA CD arrived in Tuesday afternoon's mail. Totally beyond my expectations! Nomvula blends African roots with irresistibly catchy pop melodies... I'd seen and heard YouTUBE videos by the group, and I liked the songs. NOMVULA was released back in 2004, fought it's way to the top of the pop charts in SA, moving on to Europe and Asia. Music is (for the most part) so static and stagnant in the USA, NOMVULA sounds as if it was recorded yesterday morning!

It's so hard to DESCRIBE a song or a sound that song makes, but here goes: for me, South Africa's FreshlyGround invoke a myriad of musical memories, from 1970s soul to Sade to Donovan to The Incredible String Band to Malcolm McLaren to Brenda Russel to Jefferson Airplane to Jaci Velasquez. A happy-sad whipped up folk-soul sound that wraps itself around you and reminds you of all those great performers but sounds like none. Flutes, violins, guitars, beats... all there in one splendid recording! FreshlyGround may never grow an audience in the USA, but just as Michael Learns To Rock cranked out hits that rocked the rest of the planet during the 1990's, FG obviously has the capabilities to do the same thing now... and they're doing it!
South African interracial band Freshlyground were "honoured and appreciated" by the world after winning the African category of the MTV European Music Awards last month in Denmark.
Freshlyground's unique sound has attracted scores of listeners across Europe. Speaking to the Saturday Star from Copenhagen, singer Zolani Mahola said winning the award was amazing and exciting.

"We feel very honoured, and to know that so many people voted for us among good African bands is an honour. This means that we are appreciated not only by South Africa, but by the rest of Africa and the world," she said.

Mahola said she hoped for better things for the band in the future and that the award "means we are not only representing South African music but African music, so to win this award is a privilege".

She admitted that when they walked down the red carpet at Thursday's awards ceremony, they "felt a bit intimidated, lots of media wanting to speak to you, and behind you is Rihanna, which can be intimidating. It's something a little out of this world - it's like you are in a movie".
I was introduced to FreshlyGround's music in October at an internet cafe. Here is a band with the diversity of their nation built into their every note. Freshlyground (I've also seen it as "freshlyground" all lower case) is a 7-piece "ensemble" Afro-Fusion band that was formed in Cape Town. The music is original and energetic with a 'fresh mix' of musical styles and influences - from indigenous African folk music and jazz, to "contemporary" (whatever that is).

They combine traditional pop instruments such as bass, keys and guitar with the mbira, a traditional African "thumb piano." Plus, they spice up their stage performance with traditional, loosely-choreographed African dance routines.

Freshlyground sing in English and African languages and they have a following that cuts across the "rainbow nation's" racial and cultural divides. Lead singer-songwriter Zolani Mahola says that musically they're equally all over the place, and perhaps that's part of their appeal: Zolani comes from a small town in the Eastern Cape. She sings in either Xhosa or English about the challenges facing modern-day South Africa.

CD REVIEW: 01 I AM THE MAN kicks off the disc with a sound I can only describe as "tropical." Your foot will be tapping to the beat before you know it! 02 NOMVULA is a Xhosa word that means "after the rain". It's also a woman's name. Zolani's mother, Nomvula, died when Zolani was very young. A ballad so tender, it doesn't matter if you don't understand the words. Nice guitarwork, too! 03 MANYANA ... that's as far as I got writing a rigidly formatted track-by-track review... I was called away from the computer, and it's a good thing! I really wasn't into dissecting the CD. After more consideration, I think it's best to say NOMVULA is a great collection of music! Buy the CD at this South African online store. You can find it on Amazon.com as well.
You may not like every song on the disc, but you're money will have been well spent! Doo Bee Doo demonstrates in no uncertain melody why FG won the African category of the MTV European Music Awards! Then there are two favorites of mine, I'd like and Father Please. Then there's Buttercup. I can place the CD in my player and actually enjoyably listen through all 14 tracks! (Usually there's at least a song or two on any CD that I'd skip, but not NOMVULA!!)

The band is said to be in the recording studio at work on their third album. FG's First CD, "Jika Jika" (2002) is now in demand: You can Download a sample if you like! It's suddenly "hard to find." (scratches head) and the tunes I've heard from it are just as good as if not better than those on NOMVULA!

If you liked this post, you'll like:
Global Hit: FreshlyGround
and Blogsessing: Give the Gift of Music.
Show Comments: OR

2 comments:

  1. Upcoming FreshlyGround shows!!

    12/07/2006 08:00 PM - Spier Estate
    Stellenbosch, Kaap, -

    Benefit Gig with Vusi Mahlasela for the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    12/09/2006 01:30 PM - Jazz on the Rocks
    Oudekraal, Kaapstad, -



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    12/26/2006 05:00 PM - MTN Durban Jazz Festival
    Haslemere Dam, Durban, -

    Time to be confirmed

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    12/31/2006 10:30 PM - Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
    Kirstenbosch, Cape Tune, -

    This one's going to be a cracker!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ReplyDelete
  2. tanks to posting links

    ReplyDelete


COMMENTING CHARGES
Per comment rate: $2
Payable by either clicking the BitCoin "tip me" button or the PayPal "donate" button in the sidebar.

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Because, like the fine publication Tablet, whom I borrowed this concept from, I too am committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing I'm able to provide, all free of charge. I take pride in my loyal readership, and I'm thrilled that you choose to engage with me in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse).

I'm asking people who'd like to post comments on my blog to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping me bring you the provocative and/or entertaining articles that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with me FREE of charge via Facebook comments and Google+ comments! You can also reach me via Twitter @davelucas

I hope this new largely symbolic measure will help create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all! Those of you who choose to contribute, thanks for your support.

IMPORTANT:

Your comment will appear after you have made your donation.

All IP addresses are logged.

Your comment will not appear immediately as all messages are vetted before publication.

PS - Any more questions? Check out my Policy & Terms of Use FAQ!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Web Analytics