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Mrejo responds to the global call to action to support the exiled Festival Au Desert

 

This charismatic Motswako artist from Mafikeng is releasing his long-awaited first album through BakTu Musik in November 2013. All indications are that his decade-long journey to find his niche in the local music industry is finally starting to bear fruit.  Mrejo says of the 14-track CD:  “The album is based on my personal journey through challenging times in the business. It’s titled 1000 Reflections as a metaphor, referring to someone looking at himself in a shattered mirror.”

He adds: “This project is a personal look at the ups and downs I have faced on my road to success. I really hope it will communicate messages of hope and inspiration to those following in my footsteps.”

Now, to further communicate his message of hope and inspiration he is throwing his weight behind an Africa Peace Concert, presented by the newly launched Africans for Africa network platform, with other South African artists including Nomisupasta amongst others, and Sounds from the Sufi Darqawi who will session with Mali artists, bringing the sounds of the Desert and nomadic people to South Africa.

Mrejo will headline the Africa Peace Concert on December 3 at the vibey Zen, situated in the Maboneng precinct of Johannesburg, starting at 8pm. Entrance is free, however donations will be welcomed.

He says, "It is a very beautiful idea first of all for African artists to come together, young and old as one voice. A voice that the world may start to listen to issues that we really experience on a daily basis as Africans."

South Africans are being urged to support activities around this unique African cultural festival – a North-South collaboration of Mali’s exiled Festival au Desert and South Africa’s Emthonjeni Arts.

This ‘welcome’ African Peace Concert in Johannesburg on December 3 is part of the build-up to the upcoming residency in Hamburg, Eastern Cape hosted by Emthonjeni Arts, under the auspices of the Africans for Africa network.  The upcoming collaboration will consist of a melting pot of arts engagements, opening of new markets, collaborations and dialogues. It takes place over a two-week long residency programme at the Emthonjeni Arts centre in Hamburg, South Africa from 3 – 16 December, 2013. 

For the first time a delegation of leading musicians from Mali will be in South Africa for the residency.  The musicians include Cheick Siriman Sissoko, Ahmed Ag Kaedi (the founder of Tuareg guitar band Amanar); Djibril Djiré; Issa Samake; Zoumana Tereta and Maria dite Sayon Sidibé. 

The Malian musicians will also be participating at the Africa Peace Concert.

Check out Mrejo, one of local motswako hip-hop’s most exciting new voices, on Facebook (https://www..facebook.com/pages/Mrejo/121762174648130 or
https://www.facebook.com/groups/mrejofanbase/) and Twitter (@mrejo_letsopaa),
See him on his video: http://youtu.be/AtmKkZdKNWg, look out for 1000 Reflections at a record store near you.

 
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Mrejo releases his debut album

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  He has been mentored by none other than Zola, and now hip-hop singer-songwriter Mrejo is poised for recognition in his own right with the release of his debut solo album, 1000 Reflections.

This charismatic motswako artist from Mafikeng is releasing his long-awaited first album through BakTu Musik in November 2013, and all indications are that his decade-long journey to find his niche in the local music industry is finally starting to bear fruit.

Mrejo says of the 14-track CD: “The album is based on my personal journey through challenging times in the business. It’s titled 1000 Reflections as a metaphor, referring to someone looking at himself in a shattered mirror.”

He adds: “This project is a personal look at the ups and downs I have faced on my road to success. I really hope it will communicate messages of hope and inspiration to those following in my footsteps.”

The first single, Lehipi (featuring LTK), was released last year to much acclaim, and he will be performing at various venues and festivals throughout the country during November and December to promote the album. First up is an appearance with Mafikizolo at the Red-Ox Inn in Mafikeng on Friday, 15 November 2013 from 5pm.

Mrejo was born Reginald Thapelo Molalabangwe in Mmabatho and began exploring his love for music with a band called BLB in the late 1990s.

He went on to join the group TTC before forming the duo Matona, which released an album and shared stages across the country with the likes of Mandoza, Zola, Mapaputsi, Tshepo Tshola, Brown Dash and Mafikizolo.

Mrejo was steadily building a name for himself, particularly in North West music circles, as a talented songwriter of note. But the following few years were marked by hardship as Mrejo, who had relocated to Pretoria, struggled to balance the demands of a music career with the necessity to make ends meet.

The year 2010 proved to be a turning point for Mrejo, when he started working with Nigerian-born Afrobeat saxophonist Olufemi and was featured on his album. He also featured on a Zola track, and went on to dazzle audiences at the North West Cultural Calabash.

He has been increasingly garnering respect from his music peers as a motswako lyricist of note, including recording a song for the University of Motswako mixtape compilation – a cross-border project for up-and-coming motswako rappers from Botswana and South Africa.

The culmination of his long and eventful musical journey is the new album, 1000 Reflections. It sees Mrejo in a confident songwriting space, collaborating with the cream of the Mafikeng musical crop, with Mafikeng FM station manager LTK, Mo’ Molemi and OBK taking turns at the microphone.

Tshepo Vena and Jason Brown lent their veterans’ touch to the production of most of the tracks, while up-and-coming young producers Green Fingures and Wizzy Majwana also added a touch of magic.

The album is already causing a stir in local music circles. Paige Holmes of the Bassline in Newtown said of the laid-back track Monday Morning: “I like the smooth rhythm, which makes you feel like you’re still on the weekend, and is in great contrast to the lyrics – I LIKE!” And KG of Lesedi FM enthused: “The album is nice and balanced.”

Mrejo is also a co-founder of Pro5Media, a one-stop media solution company, and remains a passionate devotee of music who never misses an opportunity to spend time in the studio.  

 
South Africa's well travelled and premier reggae band, Tidal Waves joins BakTu Musik PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 October 2013 14:49

Tidal Waves joins BakTu Musik after a relationship that was build over a few years ago with BakTu Musik director, Tumi Peter. However, it took about 3 years again before Tumi Peter could meet with the band that he once worked with. The reunion and catch-up session with band leader, Zakes Wulana resulted in the two gentlemen deciding to work together again…

Tidal Waves are widely regarded as the hardest working reggae band in South Africa, playing gigs from Oppikoppi to Pretoria, Cape Town to Potchefstroom. Originally from Klerksdorp, a small dustbowl gold mining town about two hours South of Johannesburg, the band is now based in Yeoville, Jozi.

Tidal Waves is made up of four very gifted musicians, the core of the group is held together by Jacob ‘Zakes’ Wulana on keyboard, guitar, harmonica and vocals and Sam ‘Drumbo’ Shoai on drums and vocals. Shadrack “Charlie” Mathopa is on the bass and Jaco Mans wields the guitar.

 

Their performances are always highly energetic and the band plays regularly in Johannesburg and Pretoria as well as touring and gigging in Cape Town and smaller dorps around the country. The band has also played at the Oppikoppi Music festival, South Africa’s premier live music festival, for many years. Internationally, Tidal Waves have taken their original music to Mozambique, Swaziland and as far abroad as New Zealand Germany, USA. They have recently returned from a rocking tour of Europe where they played the Pukkelpop festival in Belgium, as well as a packed schedule of medium sized venues across Belgium and Italy.

‘Tidal Waves played a steaming and catching reggae set at this year's Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium. It was amazing to see how they pulled a fully crowded tent at an alternative festival at the same time as Nick Cave was playing, and got all the people to dance. They really represented the good and bad sides of South Africa with their warm and sunny, but also political music. Off stage we greatly appreciated these 100% pure people.’

At every gig you will hear the chant: “Original music for original people!”

 

Watch Tidal Waves doing a live accoustic set in studio:

Tidal Waves - What you got

 

 
Gloria Bosman and Paul Hanmer to perform at Mzantsi Fela Festival 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Come and enjoy a chilled Sunday in the Kilnerton Theatre where two of South Africa's top jazz musicians will be performing with local bands at Mzantsi Fela Festival 2013, The SA State Theatre, Pretoria.

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GLORIA BOSMAN - Having released 5 solo albums with Sheer Sound, Gloria Bosman has performed live at numerous clubs, theatres and festival throughout the country (far too many to list here – you name it, she has played it)! She is a consummate performer and is able to impress and get any crowd on their feet and begging for more, interacting with them and putting her personal touch all the way. Gloria has shared the stage (both locally and internationally) with too many music greats to list here, but including the likes of: Sibongile Khumalo, Moses Molelekwa, Tananas, Sipho Mabuse, Vusi Mahlasela, Sipho Gumede, Oliver Mtukudzi, Victor Masondo and Hugh Masekela.

She has performed in countries and cities like; London, France, Finland, Amsterdam, Australia, Angola, Nigeria, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and a tour in South America (Chile, Argentina, Peru and Venezuela. She has performed successful in Algeria as part of the PAN African festival.

PAUL HANMER - has recorded with Tananas, Miriam Makeba, Ray Phiri, McCoy Mrubata and Pops Mohamed and formed part of Tony Cox’s ‘Cool Friction Band’ in 1996. In 1999 he performed and recorded with Sheer All Stars and produced Gloria Bosman’s debut album “Tranquillity”

Sheer Sound released Hanmer’s first album as a leader, Trains to Taung, in 1997. The album features Denis Lalouette, Jethro Shasha, Louis Mhlanga, Basi Mahlasela, Neil Ettridge and Andre Abrahamse. Since then he has recorded five more albums, Window to Elsewhere (1998), Playola (2000), Naivasha (2002), Water and Lights (2005) and Accused No 1: Nelson Mandela (2006). A duo album featuring Hanmer with McCoy Mrubata entitled “The Boswil Concert” was released in June 2011.

R80 at the door / R100 at Computicket

Date: Sunday 01 December 2013

Time: 13H00

 
Nigerian sax man Olufemi to perform live at The SA State Theatre Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 May 2013 13:38

One of Nigeria's sons Olufemi will be unleashing the Afro-beat sounds that made his name in the South African music scene. He will be performing at the Rendezvous Theatre within The SA State Theatre complex on Friday 31st May 2013. The show starts at 20:00 and ends at 23:00

OLUFEMI is the new face of the African Renaissance. Combining Afro-beat and jazz, gospel and blues, West African highlife with a nostalgic Sophiatown flavour, his music is a rich blend of deep and sultry jazz and contemporary groove. His music is urban and urbane. His life's journey - a story of migration to the South - resonates in his music, whichA creates a conscious dialogue between West African and South African sounds. This musical fusion demonstrates the path to a new and culturally integrated Africa in which a common heritage is renewed and reshaped to meet the needs of today's world.

OLUFEMI's debut album "Just in Newtown" is evidence of the rich melodies that result from this fusion. Through his versatility on the saxophone, he breathes new life into African world music. He is also an arranger, a producer and a songwriter.

His love for music began when as a child; he danced around the village when the traditional drummers played in his father's compound in Akio town, Ikorodu Lagos Nigeria in the 80s. He then started playing trumpet as a choir member in his local church. He dabbled in the piano. But he soon discovered that his first love was for the saxophone.

His influences include Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Manu di Bango, Hugh Masekela, Salif Keita, and his elder brother, Kola Ogunkoya. He has played in the presence of all-time greats, including John Legend in his first South African tour in Cape Town. He has shared the stage with Youssou N'dour and Yvonne Chaka Chaka at the CAF (Confederation of African Football Awards) 2009 in Lagos. He performed alongside the king of Juju music, Sunny Ade, at the Glo launch in the Republic of Benin. Other colourful festivals such as the Calabar festival in Nigeria have felt Olufemi's hypnotic music, where he performed alongside the late, great Lucky Dube.

The highlights of his career include performing at the Crowning of Miss World 2008 in Johannesburg, at the FIFA Confederation Cup Draw in 2008, at the CAFawards in Accra, Ghana in 2010, at the Afrophonie concert at the Bassline in 2010, at the Pan African Arts and Craft exhibition (PACE) in 2010. He was proud to honour Africa's heroes by playing at the 50th year celebration of 17 African countries at the Pan African Parliament, in Midrandin oct 2010 He has been a willing supporter of the Haiti Campaign spearheaded by the National Department of Arts and Culture, performing live on SABC TV in April 2010 and composing a song devoted to the Haitian people.

Olufemi joins two stable-mates and African guitar veterans Louis Mhlanga and Skipper Shabalala on the list of BakTu Musik artists who have already performed at the venue since the inauguration of Jazz & African Music Nights series started in 2010. The saxophone maestro will be supported by Limpeperembe all the way from Mpumalanga. Entrance is R100 at the door.

Be sure not to miss this one!

 
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