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Singer, producer, performer, songwriter and television personality, Arthur Mafokate, Mr. Kwaito, or Mr Vuvuzela as he is known, is amongst the first of a group of South African musicians to term their new sound Kwaito. His ground-breaking and award winning releases, Kaffir and Oyi,Oyi, changed the face of the South African music industry with their catchy Kwaito beat and subversive lyrics. The lyrics of the 1995 EP Kaffir: “Nee baas…don’t call me Kaffir”, proved to be too much for several radio stations to play yet the EP was a huge seller and largely influenced the face of Kwaito today.
In 1996, Arthur released Die Poppe Sal Dans, and in 1997, Oyi Oyi, both of which were immensely popular. In 1998 he won the Song of the Year at the SAMA FNB Awards. Arthur’s impact on the overseas market kicked off with a successful promotional performance in Spain when he released Farewell, dedicated to his brother’s memory. In 2001 Arthur released his solo album Seven Phezulu whose theme is the celebration of township culture. A Gospel track sung by Abashante’s Queen features on the album, as well as a track sung by then 12-year old artist Pantsula and the album features Don Laka’s backing band.
Arthur is head of the record company 999 Music, who handle the Kwaito artists Ishmael, Speedy, Nestum and more and are always on the look out for new talent to develop
Bongo Maffin was formed in 1996 as a conceptual band project under the guidance of renowned South African DJ Oscar. Bongo Maffin delivers a strong South African sound, intermingled with world characteristics. The band comprises of four talented members who are all passionate about and committed to making music.
Appleseed, was born and raised in Zimbabwe, he brings a distinct reggae influence to the band. Speedie joined his first band, The Intimate as a scholar. He began music studies at the National School of the Arts. Stoan has a background in marketing and advertising and was a backing vocalist for Thebe, one of South Africa’s fastest growing Kwaito artists. Thandiswa (Red) joined Bongo Maffin in 1997, she has a degree in International Relations and English, her move into the music industry began as a backing singer and session musician.
Bongo Maffin has released several chart toppers to wide acclaim and have enjoyed hot record sales. They have shared the stage with Skunk Anansie, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder and Boys to Men and have worked with talented musicians the likes of Hugh Masekela. Bongo Maffin has been approached by international talents to remix various works. Theirs is innovative music that probes and inspires with their unique Kwaito/soul/funk sound and Red’s amazing voice. They are undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most popular bands. They have performed at corporate events and private parties, been on television and major concerts numerous times and featured in local magazines. They have a broad international and South African audience.
R&B soloist Danny K’s debut 14-track album, Danny K is an electric mix of R&B grooves, hip-hop inflected melodies, pop melodies and intricate harmonies.
The inclusion of heavyweight artists like female vocalist, TK on the beautiful ballad So Many Ways as well as Speedy, ex-Bongo Maffin and another hot R&B talent on the scene right now, makes for an exceptional listening experience.
Danny’s astonishing vocal talent, as well as the diverse sounds on Danny K are coupled with unmistakable global production sensibility. Danny has made the crucial leap onto the world stage and is fast gaining momentum as a popular artist, as more and more fans become tuned into his groove. It’s no wonder Danny’s name is on the lips of all the right people at the moment.
THE ONE AND ONLY WHITE KWAITO SUPERSTAR!
“Ever since I was young, African pop music has been in my blood.”
It is a statement that could so easily have been made by anyone making their mark in the music industry. Our love for beats and rhythms in their various forms is perhaps the only true common factor among people around the world.
So, what happens when the talented Sotho Speaking Francois Henning adopts the stage name of Lekgoa, meaning “white person”, and establishes himself as a kwaito star?
Lekgoa went to great lengths to immerse himself in the African pop music to which he was drawn. “I remember listening to Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Brenda Fassie – all the big African stars of the ’80s. I even used to go to the soccer stadiums just to see the shows they had before the game.” All this amid the atmosphere of apartheid.
It seems that the cliché that raves are for whites and kwaito is for blacks does not apply to Lekgoa, especially with his dislike for what he calls “fast music”. For at the heart of this kwaito personality is an individuality that will be hard to keep down.
Instead, he suggests that people change with the times. “It’s the new millennium. People should be open to change. People should feel free to do whatever they want to,” he says.
Sometimes referred to as “Leboere”, Lekgoa views his step into kwaito as a natural progression. Citing Chicco Twala as one of his major influences, his leap into the music industry started when he sent a demo tape to a record company, where his talent was instantly recognized.
“A lot of stuff has happened since the first album. I’ve been doing a lot of touring and my second album is set for release in early February 2002 entitled ‘NGAMLA YOBA!’. Lekgoa is also watched by millions of viewers on South Africas most popular soapie GENERATIONS, his life story had such an impact on the producers that they created a character based on his own life story as the Sotho speaking, heart breaker and budding kwaito artist, ‘Nickholas’.
Television is certainly not a new experience for Lekgoa, as his performances have stunned TV viewers across the continent, he has spoken to CNN and stunned the world through a documentary depicting his unique life and career.
Lekgoa was nominated for a prestigious KORA music award as best male newcomer in 2000 and has recently comlpeted a successful tour to France and London.
This young powerful performer has touched millions of people across the color barrier and is set to convey a positive message to all his fans. What he wants is for young people to take charge of their lives and realize that individuality is more important than being part of the crowd. “Young people must realize the power they have within themselves to create anything they desire”.
That’s some sound advice from a star who, despite his fame, still seems to have his feet firmly planted on the ground. But where one-hit wonders like Vanilla Ice and the babbling Snow soon fell into obscurity, Lekgoa seems more than Le-ready for the long ride.
Loyiso Mangena has been in the industry for over two years and is already becoming a household name through his role on the new etv Backstage series. He is set to release a Kwaito album in conjunction with Backstage in late 2002. In the short time that he has been in the industry, Loyiso has worked on several television series’, appeared in commercials and soap operas. But being in the public eye is in Loyiso’s blood. His father is well-known soccer commentator Mike Mangena.
Loyiso’s dream is to be a mentor for the African youth. He sets a positive example and enriches the lives of those who are influenced by him through his performing career in television, film and music.
At the age of 16, Nestum, born Zanele Nyakale, became a dancer and vocalist for the Kwaito success story, Aba Shante. She merged with her producer and mentor Arthur King of Kwaito Mafokate, Iyaya, Zombo and Stitch to form the phenomenal concept known as the Arthur All Stars. Each artist was given an opportunity to explore their own vocal talents and the Arthur All Stars released the hit album Kwasa Kwasa. Nestum’s talent is evidenced on her single Paraka, which reached gold status. She is one of the country’s few women rappers.
Since she has been presenting the television music programme, Jam Alley, on SABC 1, Nestum’s popularity has soared and has led her to recording a solo album due for release shortly. Aside from the myriad interviews she gives, Nestum is a much-demanded national motivational speaker
Tamara Dey started singing in clubs as a student. She has since worked with some of the hottest people on the club scene: Pepsi, Lebo Mathosa, Brothers of Peace, Beswana Brass, DJ Pepsi, deep house DJ, Brian Jnr and house DJ, DJ John.
Her TV appearances include a performance as a singer for the first episode of Ziwa Mo, a feature on Selimatunzi and on three occasions for etv’s Backstage soap opera. Tamara’s debut solo EP, The First Lady, produced by Alexis Faku and Pepsi, was released in 2001. Her new music video, What Am I to Do, was released by Gallo Music SA. Tamara is working on a full album, due for release in 2002.
Tamara was nominated for Best Female Artist at the Metro FM Awards. She performed a lead singing role in the Cell C launch. Her performance engagements include the President’s Children’s Fund concert, Pietersburg, eTV’s Craze Day at Gold Reef City and the Soccer World Cup launch on the day of the draw in Korea clubs.
Of all the instruments, the voice is the most haunting, the most expressive. It is the sound closest to our soul. We remember voices with chilling recall.
The same can be said of kwaito whizz kid Thebe Mogane going only as Thebe. He broke into the music industry by mistake. Many who believed his voice was nothing but a pain in the ear where proven wrong when DJ Oscar Wa Rona met Thebe in Mmabatho, North West and encouraged him to sing as his voice was “fine”.
His first album Dia Boa (Ko Philly) made Thebe an overnight success. He then came out smoking with The Vibe Continues “Mosito O Tswela Pele” made up of seven pulsating tracks. If the sounds in the album are anything to go by, it seems his vibe will be on eternally. Drawing from jazz influences Thebe takes kwaito music to another dimention.
Three- member Kwaito act TKZee announced themselves in 1996 with their debut release, a mini-album called Take It Eezy. It is a catchy fusion of R&B, Rap, Hip Hop and Kwaito and it established TKZee as musical innovators. Considered by many as being musically ahead of its time, the album took the trio to prominence.
Zwai is classically trained and mixes his talents with the street-hardened rapping skills of Tokollo (TK) and Kabelo (Bouga). They are one of the most popular Kwaito groups around. Two years after the release of Take It Eezy, TKZee caught the attention of the public with the singles Shibobo and Phalafala. Within weeks Phalafala was smoking up the radio airwaves nationwide. TKZee hit the road hard with their energetic, in -your-face live performances creating a huge buzz.
Phalafala featured a guest appearance by fellow Kwaito star S’bu and in turn TKZee appeared on S’bu’s solo album Mzala, for which Zwai produced three tracks. TKZee hooked up with Bafana Bafana and Ajax Amsterdam super-striker Benni McCarthy prior to the 1998 Soccer World Cup in France and released the sensational Shibobo single in June 1998. The single captured the imagination of a Kwaito crazy and soccer mad country competing in it’s first ever Soccer World Cup. Sales topped the 100 000 mark in just over a month, making it the fastest and biggest selling CD single by a South African recording artist in history.
The name Trompies was inspired by the naughty but hard working TV character in the series Trompie en die Boksombende. The band is made up four old school friends Zynne “Mohoota” Sibika, Mandla “Spikin” Mofokeng, Eugine “Donald Duck” Mthethwa and Jairus “Jakarumaba” Nkwe and formed in late 1995. Trompies revived the art of Pantsula Jive, a sub culture dance style with a unique fashion and way of speaking which is a mixture South Sotho, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English and tsotsi-taal.
Spikin and Jakarumaba joined famous producer and singer Sello Chicco Twala as dancers and Spikin became Twala’s pianist. Four years later he and the then unknown M’du Masilela (The Godfather) formed the group MM Deluxe. Mthethwa joined the group Casino who backed the Queen of Mapantsula Mercy Pakela, Ali Katt of Let The Good Times Roll fame and flamboyant Eric D. In the early 80’s Mohoota and Jakarumaba studied Classical and jazz music through the London branch of Trinity College of Music, Donald Duck toured the world with SA’s reggae king Lucky Dube and Spikin worked with the Phil Hollis as a sound engineer.
Spikin left Lucky Dube and formed Trompies with Mohoota and Donald Duck. Jakarumaba gave up his job as an electronic technician and joined the three who wrote, composed and produced for artists Baby Gee, Fatty Boom Boom aka Tsekeleke, Senyaka and Magents. They have had phenomenal hits as a group, as solo artists and in collaboration with Lebo Mathosa, Mafikizolo, Senyaka and the late Wendy Mseleku. The Trompies single Magasman went double-Platinum, their album Shoshaloza sold 80 000 copies and Pantsula sold 60 000 copies. Trompies have made several music videos and appeared on the hit etv series Backstage.
Zola was catapulted into fame with his role as a notorious gangster in the hit television series Yizo Yizo. The role led him to create the hit song Ghetto Fabulous off the Yizo Yizo sound track. Actor, TV Presenter and a Kwaito star Zola takes his name from a Sowetan ghetto. His music remains true to his roots and his words: “Kwaito kids are made from broken homes, hunger, abuse, violence, guns… now as adults we must change the game for the better…we must change everything we are made from.”
His debut album Umdlwembe attained triple-Platinum within a year, as a Kwaito gem it is infused with elements of Hip-Hop, gospel and hints of traditional Zulu and Sotho music.
In 2002 Zola won four awards at the prestigious South African Music Awards for Artist of the Year, Best Sound Track on Yizo Yizo, Best Music Video for Ghetto Scandalous and Best Kwaito Album for Umdlwembe. He won three Metro FM awards in 2001 for Song of the year Ghetto Fabulous, Album of the year, Umdlwembe and Best Kwaito Album, Umdlwembe.
Zola hosts his own television show, ZOLA on 5.
IN MEMORY OF MANDOZA
Newcomers to Kwaito, especially internationally where Mandoza’s work is earning release, will be able to experience his deep voiced visceral energy. He has a reputation as one of South Africa’s most lyrically inventive artists and his latest album, Godoba, released in 2002, though anchored firmly in Kwaito, incorporates flavours of gospel, rock, house, hip hop, mbaganga, pantsula and 80’s disco.
If his album 9115 Zola South set the groundwork for Mandoza’s flight to superstardom, Nkalakatha thrust him into the sonic stratosphere and earned him a 2001 South African Music Award for Album of the Year. The albums title song was named Song of the Year in a category based on popular opinion. This, along with Mandoza’s scooping of five of the 10 categories at the 2000 Metro Music Awards Best Kwaito Artist, Best Male Vocal, Best Album Nkalakatha, Best Styled Artist and Song of the Year for the smash hit Nkalakatha. Nkalakatha proved Mandoza’s ability to scale previously entrenched musical boundaries with ease when its title track gained a high chart position on Radio 5FM, South Africa’s national pop and rock radio station.
Mandoza is in great demand for concerts, corporate events and private parties.
IN MEMORY OF LEBO MATHOSA
Lebo Mathosa is one of the hottest female singers in South Africa. Her professional dance act, sexy look and unique sound, which is a fusion of R&B, African music, dance and funk, has set new standards in the local music industry.
Lebo shot to fame in 1994 as front vocalist and dancer for the multi-Platinum success story, Boom Shaka. In 2000 she launched her solo career with her debut single Intro, a track that features on her debut solo album Dream. Four weeks after the launch of Dream, the album went Gold and in 2001 Lebo won Best Dance Album for Dream, Best Dance Single for Intro and Best Female Vocalist at the coveted South African Music Awards.
In 2001 Lebo performed at the South African edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival in Cape Town, the Celebrate South Africa concert in London’s Trafalgar Square, on tour in Malaysia and Singapore and for the Malaysian queen. Back home she performed to over 16 000 people at Nelson Mandela’s 85th birthday bash, to thousands of fans on Youth Day and Heritage Day. In 2002 Lebo performed at an Aids benefit concert in Botswana and Swaziland, for the showing of The Vagina Monologues and on tour in the United States.
Most of her performances have been broadcast nationally and internationally. She has shared the stage with world class musicians and recorded tracks with local and international artists, including with Keith Sweat on his Africa only album release. Lebo is known for her acting and singing roles in top South African television shows Generations, Backstage and Muvhango. She won the 2001 Style Best Dressed Woman of the Year Award and was nominated by FHM Magazine as one of Africa’s sexiest women. Lebo has been on the cover of almost every local magazine and is regularly in the society pages of South African newspapers.
In addition to her live performances, she is sought after to perform at corporate launches and high profile private events. She owns the publishing rights for all of her albums and her deal with local record company Bula Records, has her with one album left to produce by the end of 2002.
ABOUT Entertainment has an exciting catalogue of high calibre polished kwaito and r&b acts.
Contact us with your requirements so we can make the best suggestions