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Buhle returns with echoes of Kofifi

By Sibabalwe Bingwa | 2016-11-26 09:43:44.0

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Buhle Mda's journey of initiation as a sangoma reverberates through Echoes of Kofifi, the new album of The Soil.

She sings about the metamorphosis on Mama Ndiyahamba, which literally means mother I'm leaving. "Mama Ndiyahamba is self explanatory, really. It's a song I received while being summoned to step into a journey of self realisation and self growth. And obviously it's never easy to send your child into a world unknown, So that's just me asking my mom to let go and trust in the journey I am to take."

Echoes of Kofifi is also rooted in the sounds of the romanticised Sophiatown, Kofifi and Meadowlands.

Quite a departure from Nostalgic Moments with the monster hit, Susan.

The Soil feature rapper Kwesta on Thambo Lam. This has become something of a tradition for the band who previously roped in another rapper, Khuli Chana to wax lyrical on Susan.

Explains beat-boxer Phindo Ngxanga: "When we choose artists to collaborate with, we look for the skill and authenticity in how they rap. We also choose them because we know they will fit in our music. We love hip-hop too and we were lucky that all these rappers blended very well with our type of music."

His brother Ntsika adds: "This album has Grammy written all over it and it highlights in detail the euphoria that was central to life in Kofifi. The harmonies on this album are an ode to all great musicians that came out of Kofifi, the growth is apparent in how we embodied that 1950s spirit vocally, in the modern musical landscape that we find ourselves in now."

While Mda underwent her training as a sangoma, the boys were joined by an ambitious young singer, Theo Matshoba who won a talent search. Would they consider Theo as a fourth member?

"There are only three members in the group, and we really enjoy working in that way. Theo came in for our special project that [record label] Native Rhythms and us thought of during Buhle's break and we're thankful she was skilled enough to fit in with us vocally," says Phindo.

"We love her and we will help and advise her on anything regarding her music career. We have featured Theo on our new album as a thank you to her as well as to uplift her music career and help her realise herself as a recording artist," says Ntsika.

The hit track Susan was an anthem in the festive season of 2014 and now Kofifi sounds like it could be one too.

"Kofifi is the perfect description of what transpires in kasi, and what we always imagined Sophiatown to be. The Kofifi lifestyle and fashion trends overlap to our generation," says Mda.

The Soil embarks on a tour of India from December 8 to 12, performing at the Sacred Art Festival in Pushkar.