Vusi Mahlasela

Last updated

Vusi Mahlasela
Vusi Mahlasela.jpg
Mahlasela in February 2009
Background information
Born1965 (age 5556)
Pretoria, South Africa
OriginSouth Africa
Genres African folk, jam band
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Labels ATO, Wrasse, BMG, RCA, Label Bleu
Website VusiMahlasela.com
Vusi Mahlasela performing at the 100th birthday celebrations of Die Burger in Cape Town, 2015. Vusi Mahlasela 2015.jpg
Vusi Mahlasela performing at the 100th birthday celebrations of Die Burger in Cape Town, 2015.

Vusi Sidney Mahlasela Ka Zwane (born 1965 in Pretoria, South Africa) is a Sotho South African singer-songwriter.

Contents

His music is generally described as "African folk" and he is often dubbed as "The Voice" of South Africa. His work was an inspiration to many in the anti-apartheid movement. His themes include the struggle for freedom, and forgiveness and reconciliation with enemies. Vusi has released seven studio albums on Sony in South Africa and was signed to Dave Matthews' ATO Records in 2003. Vusi can also be heard performing on Warren Haynes' Live at Bonnaroo release during the song "Soulshine", and the Dave Matthews Band song, "Everyday", from the album of the same name as well as a live version of the song with him which appears on the album The Best of What's Around Vol. 1 . Vusi was also one of the performers at the Live 8 concerts and at Live Earth. Vusi performed at Nelson Mandela's inauguration in 1994 and has subsequently performed at Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Tribute in Hyde Park, London in 2008, and at Mandela Day at Radio City Music Hall in July 2009. His song "When You Come Back" was used at ITV's theme song for their World Cup coverage in 2010 [1] and Vusi performed at the FIFA World Cup Kick Off concert at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, South Africa. [2] In 2012, the SAMA Awards honored Vusi with a lifetime achievement award. [3]

Recent works

His album The Voice released on ATO Records [4] includes the popular track "Weeping", recorded with Josh Groban and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Vusi joined Mambazo for their October–November UK tour in 2004, and again for their 2007 UK tour, again from October to November 2007.

He and other South African musicians took part in the 2002 documentary Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony where they recalled the days of Apartheid.

In June 2007, Mahlasela spoke of apartheid and performed "Thula Mama" at the TED Conference in Arusha, Tanzania. He also performed at TED in Monterey, CA in March 2008. Vusi performed at the Skoll World Forum on 14 April 2010. [5]

On 7 July 2007 Mahlasela performed at the South African leg of Live Earth.

His album Guiding Star, as Naledi Ya Tsela (the name under which it is released in South Africa), won him the 2007 SAMA for Best Male Artist.

He has participated in videos for Playing for Change most notably "One Love" and "Stand By Me".

In April 2009, Vusi joined Bela Fleck on his Throw Down Your Heart Tour and was also featured on his album of the same name. [6]

ITV used his song "When You Come Back" as their main theme for the opening credits of their coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The song was very popular amongst viewers and entered the UK Official Singles Chart on 4 July 2010 at No. 70.

His most recent album, Say Africa , was produced by legendary bluesman Taj Mahal. [7] The album was released 18 January 2011 on ATO Records. [8]

Discography

Studio albums

TitleRelease DateRecord Labels
When You Come Back 1992BMG Records Africa; Label Bleu/Indigo
Wisdom of Forgiveness 1994RCA Victor, BMG
Silang Mabele 1997BMG Africa; RCA Victor
Miyela Afrika 2000BMG Records Africa
Jungle of Questions Colossal Records, BMG Africa
Naledi Ya Tsela (Guiding Star)2007ATO Records (US); Wrasse Records (UK)
Say Africa [9] 2010Sony Music; ATO Records (US); Wrasse Records (UK)

Live albums

TitleRelease Date
Live at the Bassline 1999
Sing to the People 2013

Soundtracks

TitleRelease Date
Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony 2002
Tsotsi 2005

Compilation albums

TitleRelease DateBillboard Top World Albums
Live at KEXP Volume 6 2010N/A
The Voice 200313

Related Research Articles

"Shosholoza" is an Nguni song that was sung by the mixed tribes of gold miners in South Africa. It is a mix of Zulu and Ndebele words, and can have various other South African languages thrown in depending on the singers. It was sung by all-male African workers that were working in the South African mines in a call and response style. The song is so popular in South African culture that it is often referred to as South Africa's second national anthem.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo South African male a capella ensemble

Ladysmith Black Mambazo are a South African male choral group singing in the local vocal styles of isicathamiya and mbube. They became known internationally after singing with Paul Simon on his 1986 album Graceland, and have won multiple awards, including five Grammy Awards, dedicating their fifth Grammy to the late former President Nelson Mandela.

PJ Powers is the stage name of the music artist Penelope Jane Dunlop. She became a household name at home after winning a song competition on national radio with her version of the Don Clarke song, Sanbonani. The final stage of the song competition was televised, bringing P J Powers to the attention of the wider South African public. Sanbonani was a hit record in South Africa. World in Union, the Ladysmith Black Mambazo record featuring P J Powers, became an international hit record in 1995. It charted in the UK.

46664 is a series of AIDS benefit concerts played in honour of Nelson Mandela by South African and foreign musicians between 2003 and 2008.

Bright Blue was a South African band that was prominent on the progressive scene in the final years of apartheid. The band's name "reflected the paradox of being bright in a very blue time" but was also a tribute to Chelsea FC.

<i>Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony</i>

Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony is a 2002 documentary film depicting the struggles of black South Africans against the injustices of Apartheid through the use of music. The film takes its name from the Zulu and Xhosa word amandla, which means power.

Radio Freedom was the radio propaganda arm of the African National Congress (ANC) and its fighting wing Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) during the anti-Apartheid struggle from the 1970s through the 1990s. It was the oldest liberation radio station in Africa. Listening to Radio Freedom in Apartheid-era South Africa was a crime carrying a penalty of up to eight years in prison.

<i>Awake</i> (Josh Groban album) 2006 studio album by Josh Groban

Awake is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Josh Groban. Announced on September 13, 2006, it is his third studio album, and a follow-up to his multi-platinum album Closer. Awake was released on November 7, 2006.

<i>When You Come Back</i> 1992 studio album by Vusi Mahlasela

When You Come Back is Vusi Mahlasela's debut album.

<i>Guiding Star</i> (2007 album) 2007 studio album by Vusi Mahlasela

Naledi Ya Tsela, is Vusi Mahlasela's sixth studio album. Songs on the album are sung in five languages: English, Sepedi, Sesotho, isiZulu, and seTswana. There also a number of guest singers, including Dave Matthews and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and many other guest performers - whose contributions are not listed in the tracks only in the liner notes.

Louis Mhlanga

Louis Mhlanga is a Zimbabwean artist based in South Africa, an award-winning guitarist and producer. Mhlanga taught himself to play the guitar at a young age and is considered one of the best Southern African guitarists.

Thandiswa Mazwai

Thandiswa Nyameka Mazwai is a South African musician, and is also the lead vocalist and songwriter of Bongo Maffin. She is also known as King Tha. In 2004,her first solo project Zabalaza album attained double platinum status and her album also got nominated for Planet Awards on BBC Radio 3.

"Weeping" is an anti-apartheid protest song written by Dan Heymann in the mid-1980s, and first recorded by Heymann and the South African group Bright Blue in 1987. The song was a pointed response to the 1985 State of Emergency declared by President P.W. Botha, which resulted in "large-scale killings of unarmed and peaceful demonstrators against racial discrimination and segregation in South Africa." Defiantly, the song incorporated part of the melody to Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika, the anthem of the anti-apartheid African National Congress. "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" was banned at the time, and inclusion of even the melody violated the law. Today, "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" is part of the national anthem of South Africa. The formerly illegal lyrics—"Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo"—are now often sung when "Weeping" is recorded or performed.

<i>Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa Sessions</i> 2009 studio album by Béla Fleck

Tales From The Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa Sessions is an album by banjoist Béla Fleck. Nicknamed "Throw Down Your Heart" after one of the songs, the album is actually a soundtrack for a film of the same name, released by Docurama Films, which he produced, about travelling through Africa, recording with many musicians from that continent as he searched for the origins of the banjo.

Iyeoka Okoawo

Iyeoka Okoawo is a Nigerian-American poet, recording artist, singer, activist, educator and TEDGlobal Fellow. Her music includes elements from soul, R&B, rock, hip hop, and jazz.

<i>Say Africa</i> 2010 studio album by Vusi Mahlasela

Say Africa is the seventh studio album by South African musician Vusi Mahlasela. The title song of the album "Say Africa" was originally written and performed by South African musician Dave Goldblum in 1997 and released on Dave's album Valley Road, however Dave receives little recognition for his work. The song was performed by Vusi Mahlasela at the opening of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where Vusi gave full credit to Dave Goldblum for having written the song. However, the song is still publicly recognised as Vusi's own. The album was produced by Taj Mahal with the basic tracks were recorded in Dave Matthews' studio and completed in Johannesburg. Mahlasela performs duets with Taj Mahal and Angelique Kidjo on the album. Say Africa was released in South Africa in late 2010 and is scheduled for international release on 18 January 2011.

Lira (singer)

Lerato Moipone Molapo is a South African singer. Her name translates to "love" in Setswana and she speaks four languages. She is a multi-platinum selling and an 11-times South African Music Award-winning Afro-Soul vocalist, who refers to her music as "a fusion of soul, funk, elements of jazz and African."

Victor Ntoni

Victor Mhleli Ntoni was a South African musician, Among his notable achievements, Ntoni co-founded the Afro Cool Concept band in 1989 and received a nomination for the 2004 South African Music Awards SAMA and scored as well as arranged the music in The South African Songbook -- SA Folklore Music. His best known song is the hit “Wa thula nje”. At the time of his death Ntoni had become a legend in the jazz community.

Kwesta

Senzo Brikka Vilakazi known professionally as Kwesta, is a South African rapper and songwriter.

Music in the movement against apartheid One of the methods of opposition used against the apartheid regime

The apartheid regime in South Africa began in 1948 and lasted until 1994. It involved a system of institutionalized racial segregation and white supremacy, and placed all political power in the hands of a white minority. Opposition to apartheid manifested in a variety of ways, including boycotts, non-violent protests, and armed resistance. Music played a large role in the movement against apartheid within South Africa, as well as in international opposition to apartheid. The impacts of songs opposing apartheid included raising awareness, generating support for the movement against apartheid, building unity within this movement, and "presenting an alternative vision of culture in a future democratic South Africa."

References

  1. "When You Come Back (ITV World Cup theme version) – Vusi Mahlasela | Betting Island". 19 August 2014. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  2. "FIFA WORLD CUP KICK–OFF CELEBRATION CONCERT | 10 June 2010 | Control Room". 10 April 2010. Archived from the original on 10 April 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  3. "MTN SAMA 18 salutes Ray Phiri and Vusi Mahlasela - 18TH ANNUAL MTN SA MUSIC AWARDS". 14 April 2012. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  4. "Vusi Mahlasela : The Voice – ATO RECORDS". Atorecords.com. 31 October 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  5. "Vusi Mahlasela Musician - Profile | Skoll World Forum". 16 May 2012. Archived from the original on 16 May 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  6. "Throw Down your Heart". Throwdownyourheart.com. Archived from the original on 5 July 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  7. "Taj Mahal Produces Vusi Mahlasela". Jambands.com. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  8. "Say Africa – ATO RECORDS". Atorecords.com. 31 October 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  9. Gedye, Lloyd (7 November 2010). "Return of The Voice". Mail & Guardian.