Jazzing it up

TWO of the country's leading musicians, Don Laka and Bheki Ngcobo, have teamed up to produce a new musical fusion.

Laka, king of kwaai-jazz, and maskandi exponent Ngcobo plan to make musical history.

The two, who have reputable profiles in their own right, have teamed up to whip up what they call "kwaai-jazz meets maskandi".

The musos plan to release a 10-track album next month. It will be a blend of African and Western sounds and will be done in a creative and inspiring way. Songs such as Laphendlini and Shela NgeCellphone are bound to be hits.

Laka said the idea of a collaboration started when they were working on an election song together.

"I liked Bheki's style. I realised that we could create a great sound together. I saw an opportunity to fuse Western and African sounds."

Laka said he was fascinated by the way Ngcobo played guitar.

"I realised that the way maskandi is played is very similar to classical music. Though they did not study the technicalities of music, they are brilliant in what they do. I found musical synergies working with Bheki," he said.

Ngcobo, popularly known as Ihashi Elimhlophe, said: "Working with various musicians is working for me. I know others do not believe in collaborations, but they have made a difference to my career. It is a great opportunity for me because Don Laka is respected and very talented," said Ngcobo.

Ngcobo has collaborated with kwaito musicians in the past. He has worked with Boom Shaka, Zola, Oskido, Mdu of Amaloya, the late Jabu Khanyile and Yvonne Chaka Chaka. Laka collaborated on Invitation with Black Coffee, Jahseed, Judith Sephuma, Gloria Bosman, Afro Tenors, Paul Hamner, Palesa, Skwatta Camp, Zonke and Unathi Nkayi.

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