Abaqapheli sticks to authentic maskandi sound

A NEW breed of maskandi musicians has been gradually coming to the fore of late.

A NEW breed of maskandi musicians has been gradually coming to the fore of late.

One of those promising groups is Abaqapheli from Sahlumbe in Weenen, KwaZulu-Natal.

Made up of Maswidabhaliwe Nyawose and Ndabo Dladla, the group has just released its debut album, Intuthuko. Though many people take African traditional music for granted, maskandi is one of the best-selling genres after gospel.

If that was not the case, the group's album, released in August, would not have sold about 20000 copies in three months.

The group believes that with its originality it will go far in this industry. "The current maskandi music that is on the market sounds the same. As Abaqapheli, we are not imitating anyone. We are just being ourselves," says Dladla.

Nyawose believes that going back to the old and original maskandi style gives them the edge over other groups. "We have opted to go back to old maskandi style because we know the older generation loves it. We don't do the maskandi-disco sound that most people do.

"When composing, we actually look at things that are happening in everyday life that other people can see and relate to.

"Our music warns both men and women who are cheating while married to stop doing so, we also encourage those councillors who are delivering on their election promises to do more, and we also have songs talking about love," says Dladla.

Intuthuko is a beautiful maskandi album that is loved by people who understand the genre. But if your mind has been polluted by the current maskandi-disco sound you will struggle to understand this one.

Actually, you may find it boring.

Abaqapheli's music is made from three instruments - lead guitar, concertina and bass guitar.

The group, which was formed in 2004, only got a chance to record their first album in 2006 - but the album was not released.

Their break came when they met Stanley Dladla, the owner of Nonjiko, the recording company that released the album.