Friday, June 25, 2010

Music makes the world go round

The next three individuals that I would like you to meet are very unique. I brought them home with me the last time I went to South Africa. Nostalgia and excitement mixing together are a little bit of what I feel as I listen to these three artists and pack my bags in preparation for my trip in one week from today. So if you’re interested in expanding your musical horizons a bit then I invite you to listen and learn. Open your mind. Music can change your life. Grab a vuvuzela and imagine you’re in Cape Town sitting below Table Mountain experiencing the same thing I did 4 years ago. Let me introduce:

Jonathan "Johnny" Clegg (born 7 June 1953) is a musician from South Africa, who has recorded and performed with his bands Jukula and Savuka. Sometimes called Le Zoulou Blanc ("The White Zulu"), he is an important figure in South African popular music history, with songs that mix Zulu with English lyrics, and African with various Western European (such as Celtic) music styles. (Wikipedia) I also went to one of his concerts the last time I visited Cape Town. I am going to venture to compare him to an artist similar to Jimmy Buffet in that he is an older very normal looking man that has no distinctive or amazing voice. However, the difference is that Johnny Clegg brings alive the Zulu culture and exposes part of its beautiful history and legacy to some western culture by combing languages in the songs. His energy creates sometime magical at the concert. Here is one of his songs you might enjoy:

Brenda Fassie (3 November 1964 – 9 May 2004), was a South African pop singer. She is known for her "outrageousness" and widely considered a voice for disenfranchised blacks during apartheid. She was affectionately known as the Queen of African Pop and her nickname amongst fans was Mabrr. (Wikipedia) Brenda Fassie was passionate to say the least. Watch this clip and you’ll understand why:

Lesego Rampolokeng (born 1965) is a South African writer, playwright and performance poet. He was born in Soweto and has performed in many countries. He appears alongside poet Lefifi Tladi in the documentary GIANT STEPS (2005). (Wikipedia) Lesego was introduced to me by a friend named Mpho Mtongana. I met her in Port Elizabeth where she so kindly offered Marizanne and I a house to stay in during our visit. This song by Lesego was played over and over again until I actually memorized a little bit of the Xhosa lyrics.
So please enjoy, look up more songs, and appreciate them as part of the culture they come from. Lesego has soul and you can hear some of it on you tube at this link:

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