I speak as a true South African music fan and I feel that South African musicians need to be true to their environment and true to their culture. South Africa’s rich talent seems to be picked from us once it is discovered. Take Seether for example, I remember the day that Barney Simon (5fm DJ) introduced them as an up and coming band. They were known as Saron Gas back then; I even have the CD to prove it. Where did Barney go? He knew things that not even the bands themselves knew.
Before Seether was the Springbok Nude Girls with their killer hit “Bubblegum on My Boots”, my older sister used to bop to that song! At least we still get to see a bit of Arno every now and then. And who could ever forget that song of unity from Mandoza, Nkalakatha where every person of every race on the dance floor miraculously knew how to do the traditional Gumboot Dance.
The South African band, Freshly Ground found itself popular no, not on tossed salads, but in London before we even properly exposed them in South Africa. No matter where you hear them you will feel a strong sense of pride in your country. There are a number of young hopefuls that we pray won’t leave us, musicians such as Goldfish, Palotones and Jessie Clegg who is none other than our very own Johnny Clegg’s son. These guys have displayed the kind of talent that we don’t want to lose.
We all love a good party and music is instrumental (excuse the pun), in creating a good atmosphere. The Gang of Instrumentals seemed to launch their song, “Woza December” just at the right time with Christmas and all the festivities that go along with it, highlighting the spirit of an African over that period with the words “Summer Fiesta”! Although I always seem to be scouting for new South African talent I still have my favorite tunes that strike old memories such as the song “Give me hope Jo’anna” from Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels who also came out with the song, “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life”.
Our lifestyles in South Africa give us so much to make music about and by strumming the true South African spirit we portray a unity and pride that no other country in the world can harmonise with!