South Africa's music scene is still split across
racial lines with pop and rock classified as white music. Black music is more along the lines of R&B,
jazz and kwaito, a unique township dance genre with a slow tempo, a deep bass
and lyrics usually sung in Xhosa or Zulu. A group calling themselves Gang of
Instrumentals is trying to cross
color lines with a sound that appeals to all South Africans.
|South African group Gang of Instrument|
In 2002, musician Mandla N dreamed of collaborating
with other artists and creating a unique musical sound. He did so, and the group he formed became better
known by fans as G.I. Mandla N then
teamed up with a college friend, Lady Naturelle, and they started performing at
Five years ago they released their debut album,
titled "Kassi Flava," which means township flavor, or style. The CD received a
lot of airplay on radio stations,
topping local charts, and was soon followed by the second album, "Salute" in 2006. The third and last addition to the group was
Bongo Riot which added reggae to
the already intricate sound.
"Our sound is more urban pop," says
Mandla, "It's a fusion of a lot of sounds together, you know, like hip hop,
reggae, soul, rock – so it's like a fruit cocktail."
Their latest album is titled Round 3 and features songs such as "Oh Yeah" and "Woza December."
The CD was nominated for the 15th Annual South African Music Awards.
The South African Music Awards (SAMAS) is one of South Africa's most prestigious
musical honors. Fans and members of the
public nominate and vote for their favorite artists in many genres. At the awards ceremony, Gang of Instrumentals
took this year's Best Urban Pop Album Award.
Mandla was grateful to his supporters: "First of all,"
he said, " thank you very much to the recording company. Bongo Riot, Fire man ... This wouldn't be
possible without you. And obviously our family. Thank you very much! "
of their past awards include two Golden Horns for best soundtrack in a TV
comedy in 2006 and 2007, two Channel-O nominations for Best Group and Best Video
2005. Last year they were nominated for
the Kora Awards which were presented in Nigeria. The band is also starting to receive bookings outside the country and
recently performed in New York.
Their latest album is already available in Japan and
Lady Naturelle says the band is planning to distribute it worldwide and online.
"We're going international," says the musical lady. "Hopefully, we will become international
stars. We're planning on exporting African energy and music."
| Gang of Instrumentals|
With so much excitement on stage and enthusiasm to
conquer the world of music, critics say it's just a matter of time before the Gang of Instrumentals achieves the
goal of becoming international superstars.
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