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1980s hit Paradise Road given new sound by UK saxophonist

Muso encounters Joy's song during Covid pandemic

British saxophonist Andrew Young has remixed Paradise Road by female group Joy featuring vocalist Timothy Moloi and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
British saxophonist Andrew Young has remixed Paradise Road by female group Joy featuring vocalist Timothy Moloi and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Image: supplied

British saxophonist Andrew Young  has remixed SA popular song Paradise Road by female group Joy in which he features vocalist Timothy Moloi and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. 

The new version of Paradise Road which is dominated by a saxophone sound was released on July 7 on all digital platforms. The song became an instant hit when it was released in 1980 by the Joy trio of Felicia Marion, Thoko Ndlozi and Anneline Malebo. The song released at the height of the apartheid era encouraged people that better days were coming.

Moloi, who has performed with various orchestras and toured the world with the Boks team singing the national anthem, said it was an honour to be featured in such a historic song. Moloi, who met Young while he was living in SA, described him as a brilliant saxophonist. 

“He was here around 2020 and he came back to perform at a jazz event in Cape Town where he played Paradise Road with the saxophone. In that event he was able to connect with one of the writers of the song, Patrick van Blerk. Patrick liked the version and they decided to work on it.

"On the other side, I had recoded another version with Ladysmith Black Mambazo a few years ago. So they were able to pull our voices and add them to the new version. The idea worked because it is a beautiful track,” Moloi said. 

“It is an honour to work with Grammy Award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo and one of the classy saxophonists. Paradise Road  is one of important songs it comments about history where we h to be part of this is a big.” 

Young who is now based in Vienna, Austria, said he fell in love with the song during the Covid-19 lockdown while listening to SA music. 

“I came across the song Paradise Road and I liked the lyrics which were powerful. I did a backtrack and released it on YouTube and South Africans all over the world loved it. When I came to South Africa to perform at a jazz festival in Cape Town, I ended up performing it with Don Davino Prince from SA.

“It was amazing, and people loved it. They shared a video of us performing and it got to the songwriter Patrick van Blerk. He contacted me and shared the version that I recorded, and he was so emotional.

"But I told him that we need vocals otherwise it will never be played on radio. He added Timothy who has a beautiful voice and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. I think he has done a great job on the song. With Paradise Road it just touches the nerve with South Africans. It does not matter what bad news they get, they keep bouncing back. It is a celebratory song.” 

Catch Moloi performing at  Lexus Pop Classics on July 22 where he will be sharing the stage with the Mzansi Youth Choir. 

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