Bongeziwe Mabandla’s Urban Xhosa Folk Music Handpicked for Festival d’lle de France

Bongeziwe Mabandla
In the last three weeks Bongeziwe Mabandla’s world has elevated to embrace a new wave of recognition and critical acclaim.   From being selected as one of Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans, and having his music chosen for Paris Fashion Week, to releasing a new remix on iTunes – not to mention the fulfilment that is generated from performing his music to local and international audiences. Bongeziwe Mabandla recently performed at the Azgo Festival in Mozambique, as well as the Sakifo Festival in Reunion Island (Friday 7 June 2013) billed alongside an eclectic mix of artists including Salif Keita and Winston McAnuff among others.   Next, Bongeziwe Mabandla will be gearing up for a couple of local public performances (Oppikoppi, and The Bassline) before his debut performance at Festival d’lle de France in Paris (September 2013). Festival Director Olivier Delsalle handpicked Bongeziwe Mabandla during an earlier trip to the country – and at a second meeting last week was accompanied by several French entertainment journalists who took the time to absorb the music, and engage with the artist.  During his visit Olivier Delsalle said ‘… we are looking forward to welcoming Bongeziwe within the frame of the Festival – I am confident that this poignant, ethereal, yet powerful voice, together with his vibrant stage presence, will take the audience along the most emotive journey.” South African audiences will recall Bongeziwe’s moving performance of ‘Ngawe Mama’ at the live televised broadcast of the South African Music Awards last month. It is this powerfully emotive voice that also received two SAMA Nominations for his album ‘Umlilo’ in the Best Newcomer and Best Adult African Album categories. It was soon after the SAMA’s that Bongeziwe met up with DJ Fortee who showed an interest in the album ‘Umlilo’ and upon listening decided to remix the socially reflective song ‘Isizathu’. Bongeziwe Mabandla and DJ Fortee regard this remix as an organic collaborative process – resulting in a soulful interpretation that lends itself to listening, on repeat…Listen to Bongeziwe Mabandla’s latest ‘Isizathu (DJ Fortee Urban Vocal Mix)’ HERE!