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IT'S so easy not to associate their name with imbube music because they come from Piet Retief in Mpumalanga, a province that is not known for producing artists who shine in this music genre. Imbube is closely associated with KwaZulu-Natal.
But Piet Retief New Stars is making waves with the release of their latest album, Bazalwane Bami.
The album is already making an impression on listeners to various radio stations across the country, according to members of the group.
When asked about the album, Zama Gasa, the group's main composer, founder member and leader, said confidently: "This album will take iscathamiya music to another level".
The group has displayed their versatility by including gospel compositions in their repertoire on Mang' hambe and Wena u phila ngokubulala.
"We're spreading the message of self-love and respect for one another as people," said Sam Madlala, the bass of the group.
Iscathamiya music has been divided into sub-categories and Piet Retief New Stars describe their style as mashayela phezulu, a tune from Mpumalanga that is different to iscathamiya in KwaZulu-Natal.
The group is made up of childhood friends and homeboys who lived at George Goch hostel in Johannesburg in 1986, but are originally from Piet Retief.
They recorded their first album,Intombi yami iya bhema, in 1995 and their second album, Mina ngiziphilela nje, in 1996.
In 2002 they recorded another album, Umuntu owafika nokufa, which was also well received.
In 2004 the group recorded their fourth album titled Wena uyangilinga.
The group members said that they used to listen to Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the Kingston Brothers, Mzolo and African Music Bombers, to list but a few.
Among the challenges that Piet Retief New Stars say they have encountered are that radio stations and television channels hardly play this genre, there is alsothe lack of support from the government, and the lack of funds to conduct workshops, which they believe could develop this genre further.