The time has come for Festive Season shopping and gift ideas that we just cannot begin to comprehend right now. While you may not be able to buy physical copies of some of these albums, we still have a few suggestions for you to listen to during this hectic time:
Nādī | Guy Buttery and Dr Kanada Narahari
Dr Kanada Narahari is a prominent music therapist (and one of the only Ayurvedic doctors practising in South Africa) and a highly accomplished musician with a devoted following back in his homeland. Born in a small village along the Western Ghats in Karnataka, India, Narahari, at the age of nine, had enrolled to study Carnatic classical vocal and developed an interest in Hindustani Classical music with a particular passion for the sitar.
Guy Buttery met Narahari in 2016 as a patient, and a friendship developed between the two musicians. Over the next few months, the duo would rack up over 15 hours of recordings in studio, and it was up to Buttery to shape the material into an album that they collectively titled Nādī, which Narahari translates from the Sanskrit as ‘The Channel’ or ‘An Internal River’.
According to Neil Coppen, who wrote the album liner notes, ‘On a first listen, the tracks on Nādī emerge as salty, humid invocations to the inscrutable depths and misty myths of the Indian ocean – that vast body of water that stretches between, and laps the shorelines, of the artists’ respective homelands. The music contained in this album was all created and recorded in Guy’s hometown of Durban in South Africa, home to the largest Indian community living outside of the subcontinent…
‘Across each meditative movement, listeners are able to relive the journey, immersing themselves in a series of incantations, replete with high dynamics, delicate African-Indian inflections and virtuoso string playing of an entirely new order. Further complementing the fusion of musical dialects are a range of guest artists and friends, including Shane Cooper on bass, Thandi Ntuli on vocals, Chris Letcher on organ, Ronan Skillen on tabla and percussion and Julian Redpath on guitar, synth and backing vocals.’
Indlel’eyekhaya | Spha Mdlalose
Spha (Siphathisene) Mdlalose was born in Durban in the township of Umlazi. Her family’s move to Cape Town prompted Mdlalose to join the school choir and later her high school’s jazz band, where her interest in jazz flourished. She was later accepted to the University of Cape Town’s South African College of Music in 2006 to study her Bachelor of Music degree majoring in Jazz Vocal Performance. To date, she has performed alongside Bheki Khoza, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Mi Casa, Oliver Mthukudzi, Neo Muyanga, Sibongile Khumalo, Kabomo, Monique Bingham, Neville D, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and other South African artists. She has been featured on numerous albums, including that of South African Music Awards nominee Lwanda Gogwana, Metro FM winner Nomfundo Xaluva and Mbokodo winner for Best Female in Jazz, Thandi Ntuli. Mdlalose has performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival on numerous occasions and performed as a solo act at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival’s free concert alongside US soul singer Allan Stone, Patti Austin and HHP.
Mdlalose was also fortunate to tour with Grammy-nominated Josh Groban when he visited South Africa on his Straight to You tour and also with Grammy Award-winning gospel artist, Isreal Houghton who performed in Zimbabwe. She has performed at the Oslo Jazz Festival and the Arendal Jazz Festival as a part of the Andreas Loven trio.
Indlel’eyekhaya (loosely translated as ‘my way home’ or ‘the way home’) is Mdlalose’s debut album and showcases her composition skills and musical influences.
In a Different Light | Wouter Kellerman
Wouter Kellerman’s new release In a Different Light, features the Ndlovu Youth Choir, Lady Zamar, Konshens The MC, Charl du Plessis, CH2 and Nianell.
Kellerman is a Grammy Award-winning South African flautist, producer and composer who has won seven South African Music Awards. Using his classical training as a foundation, Kellerman has focused his attention on World and Roots music, exploring the versatility of the instrument and fusing classical and contemporary sounds.
As part of his mission to work with and uplift children, Kellerman collaborated with the Ndlovu Youth Choir in 2018. Their African version of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape Of You’ became an internet sensation, going viral with tens of millions of views on social media, and pushing the Ndlovu Youth Choir firmly into the international limelight. This resulted in America’s Got Talent scouting the choir to enter the 2019 competition. Their collaboration is part of In A Different Light, in which he re-imagines and re-shapes some of his favourite melodies by approaching them from a fresh angle.
Africa | The Ndlovu Youth Choir
Fresh from America’s Got Talent finals, the Ndlovu Youth Choir has released their much-anticipated debut album. ‘The release of our music crowns an extraordinary year that has surpassed our wildest expectations. Our choir has proven that when hard work, perseverance and commitment are combined; barriers are no longer a hindrance but an inspiration. The stars align, and dreams do come true. We are so excited to share our music with you and thank you for all your love and support,’ says the Choir.
Not only have they moved and enthralled a global audience throughout their victorious run at America’s Got Talent, they have inspired a nation with their purity of purpose, and have left us in awe of their highly spirited performances and differentiated interpretations of well-known songs, which are delivered as if for the first time, anew.
Ghost | Matthew Mole
The last few years have been an ardent journey of self-discovery for Matthew Mole. He has poured those experiences into his third album, Ghost and the character of Olly the Ghost – the album’s central protagonist, and a way for him to explore themes of how to overcome fear and insecurity.
Ghost promises to contain Mole’s typical eclectic blend of folk, electronica undertones and positive vibes. ‘The songs on this album represent fighting difficult situations in life. A lot of the difficulty comes down to fear or insecurity. The ghost represents those insecurities. It is something that intimidates us when we feel most vulnerable, but which ultimately has no power over us because we know that things will get better,’ says Mole.
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