Each Wednesday, The World Africa presents three new musical releases from or inspired by the continent. This week, head to South Africa with new albums from singer Bongeziwe Mabandla, pianist Bokani Dyer and producer DJ Black Low.
“Ukuthanda Wena”, by Bongeziwe Mabandla
On a superposition of synthesizer layers and percussive elements which gradually increase in power, the high-pitched voice of Bongeziwe Mabandla sings a universal feeling: amorous spite. “Sometimes being a hopeless romantic and someone obsessed with love can end up making you look like an idiot,” the Johannesburg singer points out about the track Ukuthanda Wena, from his fourth album, AmaXesha, to be released on May 5. Accompanied by producer Tiago Correia-Paulo, he offers a mind-blowing electro-folk, full of sincerity, apparent simplicity and emotion.
“Tiya Mowa” by Bokani Dyer
Born in 1986 in Botswana – where his father, saxophonist Steve Dyer, lived in exile – pianist and singer Bokani Dyer is a rising name on the new South African jazz scene, of which we had a brilliant glimpse through the compilation Indaba Is in 2021. In mid-May, he will release the album Radio Sechaba, through which he hears “to reflect the present moment in South Africa and where we are as a people” (“sechaba” meaning “nation” in Setswana). The opportunity to bring together several guests over the fifteen tracks, including American rapper Damani Nkosi and Nigerian bassist Amaeshi Ikechi.
Akulalwa, by DJ Black Low (feat. Black R, K. dalo & Frego)
We couldn’t end this South African selection without mentioning amapiano, the country’s major musical innovation in recent years. Among the most original actors of this genre derived from house, jazz and soul is Sam Austin Rabede alias “DJ Black Low”, whose second album, Impumelelo, came out mid-March. Born and based in Pretoria, the young man invites many voices who give a new color to this music made of synthetic layers, elastic basses and electronic percussions. We are even surprised to hear gospel accents on the title Akulalwa…Read also: One, two, three, maloya: the musical selection of “World Africa” #144
Find all the editorial staff’s musical favorites in the YouTube playlist of the World Africa.