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There's music i n the air

By unknown | Jan 05, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

As the sun set on 2008, it was interesting to begin the countdown to the new year through music, the life and soul of the African people - the driving force behind our lives and the narrator of tales of yesteryear and the future, all captured in this timeless art form.

As we enter 2009, we look back and agree that music is an integral part of any society and South Africa is no exception.

Amid all the interesting and dynamic twists, turns and drama of 2008, music was there to entertain, uplift, console, educate, in-form and capture the nuances of our lives for future generations.

Like they proved so long ago, Ladysmith Black Mambazo returned to their favourite position, which is centre stage. Not only did they drop a beautiful album, they came to the party with yet another Grammy nomination.

Agile and uniform in choreography, they have perfected harmony and taken scathamiya to unbelievable heights. Not only are they going to make us proud, they are going to usher in the new president Barack Obama through a tour of the US.

Their collaboration with the SABC choir has proved how creative and innovative they are. No wonder the world can't get enough of them.

Hashi Elimhlophe will bounce back from his nasty treatment at Miss World with a beautiful album and a possible performance in India.

After smoking from the same peace pipe Mahatma Gandhi did, so many moons ago, he will forgive but never forget. He will write another brilliant song about the incident for their upcoming album.

Nathi, Jabulani and Vusiwe will also drop their solo album after big sister Ntombi. She, in turn, will walk down the aisle with her ever-attentive beau Sizwe Mzolo.

The matriarch and manager of the family, Linah Khama, better known as Ebony and whose voice gives Randy Crawford a run for her money, will finally drop that long-awaited album.

Deborah Fraser, whose gospel sounds are enough to send you in a carriage destined for heaven, is set to have even more impact than last year. As she enjoys her freedom, she is going to attract a lot of well-intentioned suitors. But with her fingers still smarting from being love burnt, I see her opting for a we-thy, local hunk.

She will also be Jacob Zuma's spiritual counsel, opening most of his events with her fine gospel sounds.

Sello "Chicco" Twala, with his Midas touch and nose for spotting would-be stars, will keep one foot in the music industry. But he is going full steam ahead in the local film industry. He is going to keep South Africans in stitches with his Twalawood that will confirm his status as an innovator.

The year ended badly with the loss of world icon, professional matriarch, lover of Africa and humble mega star, Miriam Makeba.

We are sad and will never forget her, especially her constructive, educational talks. May her soul rest in peace.

However, music lovers are likely to be consoled by her granddaughter Zenzi Lee's re-entry into the music arena. I've got a feeling she is going to drop a beautiful album that will pay tribute to her extraordinarily talented grandmother.

Siphokazi not only epitomises the classic rags-to-riches story, but has proved her staying power. Her power lies in sticking to her guns and doing traditional music.

She is slowly ascending to music-giant status with her humble, unpretentious and great voice. I swear she will even keep the reed-slim figure and height most models will kill for.

Judith Sephuma has one of those sweet, lovely voices and although it was tapering down, the release of her super beautiful album is going to ensure it goes loud, again!

I can see her returning to her place as a permanent fixture at festivals. Her daughter will drop an album. She can't run away from her talented genes.

She may not be the greatest voice in the world but boy, her style rocks!

Lira is like a pleasant surprise waiting to be un-wrapped. Her latest release is a true Pandora's box. She is going to be all over the festival stages.

KB, whose beautiful body is enough to turn her into a ramp sensation overnight, will remain in overdrive. Her beautiful voice and continued desire to reinvent herself are her biggest assets.

Something tells me she will get engaged to a Nigerian citizen, add more songs with Yoruba lyrics and unleash more wild dances.

Sbu Leope, who looks like a million dollars, will take his Friends Like These show to new heights. He will maintain his lean and mean look, tailored suits, philanthropic traits, hard work, as well as his love for the finer things in life.

I know his upcoming house compilation will be doubly bigger than his smash hit of 2006. He will finally find a beautiful woman to complement his genius.

The traditional music arena will bring to the fore overlooked talents like that of Bhekumuzi Luthuli, Mfiliseni Magubane and Thokozani.

Women maskandis will suffer until towards the end of the year when they finally decide how they want to drive their careers.

Free from all the misfortune, Mandoza will come to the party. The only snag is he will be competing with the Durbanites who really mean business.

Brown Dash and company will finally dust their behinds to join the hip-and-happening crew.

Brickz cleaned up nicely and is likely to continue with his come-back trail. He is going to need a choreographer, as he is desperately in need of new moves.

Sipho Makhabane, Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Jabu Hlongwane, Joyous Celebration and Rebecca Malope are going to continue their spiritual custodian role. These are hot exponents of the genre who really put a lot of work in the studio to deliver great quality music.

Amid all the accusations hurled at Nigerians because of some of their crooked countrymen, guitarist Kunle Ayohe remains a beacon of hope for showing the other side, the good side. He is a great ambassador for Nigeria, thanks to his motherland's eclectic sounds captured in the jazz wrapper. He is likely to continue his upward spiral this year. And joining him in this beautiful crusade, is Ayodel. Nawow naija boys!

If you don't know the Jaziel Brothers, you are going to know the meaning of smooth and cool in 2009. These dudes are hot, hip, and happening. Fine sounds, great personality and stunning tunes.

Festivals are going to rock when you add Hugh Masekela whose newly-dropped album is flying out of the shops, Jimmy Dludlu and Malatjie The Prince. Malatjie is maturing like great wine, and is enthusiastic and heavily laden with catalogue material and hits.

It's DJs season and everyone who's anyone is dropping a house album. Christos, Ganyane, Black Coffee, Kent, Euphonik and Mthi are going to have to pull up their socks.

DJ Fresh is still the man.

I don't see Eddie Zondi, Wilson Nkosiand Ike Tladi's soul- nourishing skills fading away soon. They are still super hot, super soul and the "it" boys of soul and R&B.

Late bloomers but in for the long haul aptly describes Rhythmic Elements, Bantu Soul, Jozi and Culture Spear, the dominating new kids on the block.

Thanks to most of the beautiful albums that came out last year, we are in for some good times this year.

The cherry on top of this already deliciously iced cake, is the coming back of Miss World to our shores. We know they are going to do well this year.


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