Friday, 28 October 2016

MUST LISTEN! Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker

The 82-year-old Leonard Cohen continues to wow audiences with his most prolific album yet. The new collection of startling songs was produced by his son Adam Cohen, and following last week’s global launch event at the Official Residence of the Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles, the accolades for this body of work have been pouring in from around the world.

“Cohen's voice remains strong, measured and assured. There is, as ever, flashes of playful humour in his wonderful use of language,”
The Irish Times – 5 stars

“Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker. At eighty-two, the troubadour has another album coming. Like him, it is obsessed with mortality, God-infused, and funny,” The New Yorker

“An unquestioned masterpiece. Cohen courts what is most uncomfortable in the human condition and transforms that terrifying unease into something of great beauty – and in the process, some comfort too," The Arts Desk – 5 stars

“El aroma cálido, oscuro, seductor y reflexivo de la trayectoria de Cohen resulta reconocible en su nuevo disco,”  La Razón

“This is Cohen’s gift to music lovers: a realistically grim, spiritually radiant and deeply poetic worldview, spiked with a romantic thrum and an existential wink,” Rolling Stone – 4 stars

“You Want It Darker, it is such a pleasure to listen to... this album confirms he has much more to say, much more to share, as a sage who doesn't offer himself as such but rather as a fellow questioner stumbling through.  Yes, Leonard, if you're asking, we do want it darker,” Sydney Morning Herald – 4.5 stars

New Prince music coming soon!

There are two new Prince releases being released that will celebrate the iconic artist’s music and introduce fans to previously unreleased material from his legendary vault. This will mark the first Prince recordings released since his death on 21 April this year.

Released on November 25th around the world, Prince 4Ever will bring together 40 of Prince’s best-loved songs, including the blockbuster hits “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Kiss,” “Little Red Corvette,” “Purple Rain,” “Raspberry Beret,” “Sign O’ The Times,” “Alphabet Street,” “Batdance,” and “Cream”.

Prince 4Ever includes “Moonbeam Levels” — a previously unreleased song originally recorded in 1982 during the 1999 sessions and later considered for the never released Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic album. Prince 4Ever will also arrive with a 12-page booklet of never-before-seen photos by acclaimed photographer Herb Ritts.

In addition, early next year will see the release of the much-anticipated remastered, deluxe version of Purple Rain, plans for which were agreed with Prince before he passed away. The remaster of the classic Purple Rain will arrive with a second album of previously unreleased material. More details will be revealed closer to the release date.

Jägermeister Up the Creek Festival 26 to 29 January 2017

Creekers, pack your swimsuits, grab your floaty and get into the summertime spirit - Jägermeister presents Up The Creek 2017 is around the corner and you need to start flexing those festival muscles! For the past 26 years, Jägermeister presents Up The Creek has managed to remain small and intimate while growing in reputation and attracting some of South Africa’s best live acts, which has earned it the rightful moniker as the country’s ‘finest little festival’.

Situated on the banks of the breath-taking Breede River just outside of Swellendam, the spectacular grounds offer a singular waterside experience, which truly comes into its own at the unique Sedgwicks Old Brown River Stage. Here, bands play to the crowd from a stage that is built on the banks on the river, while revellers are free to spend their time bobbing up and down in the river on all manner of lilos and weird and wonderful floatation devices.  Life does not get much better than this: fun, friends, music, swimming, partying, dancing and all round good vibes only!

The Jägermeister presents Up The Creek organisers, Red Hot Events, have been keeping a close eye on the live music scene over the past year to identify the country’s best and brightest. Eleven acts have been confirmed so far, including Dan Patlansky, The Black Cat Bones, Albert Frost, Rubber Duc, Ben Dey and the Concrete Lions, The Kiffness, Gerald Clark and the Deadmen, Medicine Boy, Taxi Violence, Jackal and the Wind and Jak Skandi. Keep an eye on the festival’s Facebook page for more band announcements to come in the next few weeks.

To ensure that the festival stays small and select, only 2700 tickets have been made available like every year. The single tier ticket price is set at R970, which includes full access for the entire weekend (Thursday 26 January - Sunday 29 January). There are unfortunately no day passes and  no under-18s will be allowed. Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment and remember to bring your A-game for the ‘Anything That Floats’ competition – the most innovative craft takes home a prize!

Why, yes indeed! The Heartbreak Motel will once again offer a luxury glamping option for festivalgoers who enjoy having access to a fully-pitched tent, linens, warm showers, a daily breakfast and 24-hour security.

Additionally, we’ve also joined forces with Generosity Water, a wonderful international initiative that seeks to provide safe drinking water for people in developing countries. For every bottle of Generosity Water purchased at Up The Creek 2017, two people in a developing country will receive water for a month. Each bottle has a QR code that can be scanned to see which community will benefit from your purchase.

Follow Up The Creek on Facebook, Twitter (@Upthe_Creek) and Instagram (@upthecreek_festival) to stay up to date, and keep an eye on the website for further developments leading up to the festival.

Pixies to tour South Africa

Now I'm really amped for this one! I've been a fan of them since their early days and never in my life thought I'll ever see them in concert, especially South Africa, but now it's true! The Pixies are coming to South Africa!

The rock icons will visit our shores in March 2017. Marking their first visit to SA, Pixies will headline the inaugural “Rock on the Lawns” music festival on the Festival Lawns at Carnival City, Jo’burg and will play under the stars at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town.

Pixies are considered to be one of the most influential alternative rock bands of all time. Their string of anthems include Gigantic, Where Is My Mind, Here Comes Your Man, Monkey Gone to Heaven and many more.

At the “Rock on the Lawns” music festival at Carnival City, Pixies will be supported by the cream of the SA rock scene: Springbok Nude Girls, Prime Circle, aKing, CrashCarBurn, Shortstraw, The Sweet Resistance and The Robfather (DJ). They’ll perform on the Carnival Festival Lawns, a premium outdoor setting at a venue that perfectly caters for large-scale music festivals.

The Cape Town “Rock on the Lawns” concert will be a more intimate experience as fans enjoy Pixies under the stars at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens supported by Springbok Nude Girls.

Pixies have recently released their new album Head Carrier. The 12-track collection of the band's unique aural mix of surrealism, psychedelia, dissonance and surf rock was produced by Tom Dalgety (Killing Joke, Royal Blood) and recorded at London's Rak Studios from mid-February through to mid-March this year.

A special limited edition deluxe box set of Head Carrier is available exclusively through Pixiesmusic.com, which includes the CD, the album on heavy-weight/180 grams black vinyl, and a 24-page, oversized booklet with the song's lyrics and Vaughan Oliver's evocative, original artwork.  Also available only through the band's website is a special bundle that includes the deluxe box set, special t-shirt, and a special 12” x 12” record sleeve sized poster.

Tour info:

16 March 2017 - Kirstenbosch Gardens, Cape Town
18 March 2017 - Festival Lawns, Carnival City, Joburg

Tickets from R495 available from 09h00 on 25th October 2016 at computicket.com

Amanda Lamprecht – Amandala: Two Albums In Two Languages In Two Countries In One Year.

South African singer Amandala lives in Seattle. She released her English album “Far and Wide” in US in March this year and is now on her way to SA to introduce the album to audiences here. She is also releasing her first Afrikaans album “Alles Wat Jy Liefhet” in November.

Amanda Lamprecht, or in short “Amandala” has been making a living playing music and teaching yoga among many other things in Seattle for the past 15 years. In 2014-2015 she co-wrote and recorded her album 'Far and Wide’ at London Bridge Studio Seattle with world famous music producer Jonathan Plum.

London Bridge studio is well known for their work with artists such as Macklemore, Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog, Alice in Chains, Blind Melon and many more. Amanda says: “It was a dream come true and quite unbelievable to have had this opportunity to make a record at London Bridge Studio and to stand with my two feet where Eddie Vedder stood when Pearl Jam recorded TEN, as I am such a huge fan of Pearl Jam.” The Control Room at London Bridge Studio has a beautiful vintage Neve 8048 board, that has been there since the beginning of London Bridge Studio and recently restored as the heart and soul of the studio.”

Amanda will be returning to South Africa in October to introduce “Far&Wide” to audiences here. At the same time, she will also be releasing her debut Afrikaans album “Alles Wat Jy Lief Het.” The first single off her Afrikaans album, “Jeffreysbaai”, will be released to SA radio stations in September and the single “Nothing” off her English Album was released to SA radios stations early in October. Amanda will also be in Jeffreysbay in October to shoot the music video for the “Jeffreysbaai” single.

Music has always been part of Amanda Lamprecht’s life. She started playing violin at the age of 6 and taught herself a few other instruments. Amanda has an unorthodox singing style with nuances in her voice, that hints at a deep intensity to grab the listener and draw them into melodic catchy twists and turns that surprises. Amanda says that "People here think that I sound like Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries or Björk. Plum really liked my voice and said it has very unique characteristics. The album we wrote together “Far &Wide” has a Seattle dream pop sound and vibe. People in Seattle support local artists. There is a deep appreciation for musicians who can write music. One will struggle to see bands or get any gigs in Seattle playing cover songs. The music industry in Seattle is super competitive and the ‘Seattle Sound’ is original music all the way. Many musicians have moved to Seattle to be influenced and inspired by the melting pot of talent within the music industry here. Indie rock, dream pop, dream rock, post punk and grunge music are the main genres in Seattle.”

Amanda actively participates in the underground music scene projects in Seattle, where musicians that has never met each other would meet up for 6-7 hours at a pro-studio to create a song from start to finish. “Far & Wide” include some world class players: Andrew Joslyn from Macklemore did all the string arrangements for this album and Davey Brozowski drummer for Modest Mouse played drums for this album. The album was released 30 March 2016 with a sold out show at the Triple Door. A day after the CD release show Amanda got on a plane and flew to South Africa to finish a full length Afrikaans album she started at Earwig Studios with Don Farwell, in Seattle, as a side project the same time she worked with Plum on her English album. Tracks for her Afrikaans album “Alles wat jy lief het” was send over to be finished and produced at Sunset Recording Studios in Stellenbosch with Jürgen Von Wechmar.

The road is open for Amanda and her music career in Seattle, but she misses her family and South Africa.  Amanda will be in South Africa from October 2016 till March 2017 to promote the two albums she made. She will be returning 7 months in a year to do music in the States and the other 5 months to do music in South Africa.

Jackal and the Wind releases debut single, ‘The People Sing’

Jackal and the Wind’s latest single, ‘The People Sing’, is now available for digital download from iTunes and Deezer and it's an awesome tune! Jackal and the Wind is a four-piece indie/folk band from Stellenbosch, South Africa. Comprised of Christopher Kruger on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Cobus von Wielligh on bass, Peter Kruger on lead guitar and Johan Pretorius on drums, the band has been gaining steady acclaim since its inception in 2013. Their signature track, 'The Ukulele Song' put them on the map when it gained a cult following among the student demographic with 200 000+ impressions on SoundCloud and top honours on the Digital Forest Live Sessions in the same year. The band's whimsical name is reminiscent of the yearning of the jackal and the intangible emotion of a howling wind, and pays homage to their wish to whisk their listeners away to a world without boundaries by means of their emotive harmonies.

About ‘The People Sing’
‘The People Sing’ has already gained commercial acclaim on no less than twelve local radio stations with young and vibrant listener demographics. The track, which revolves around a person who finds themselves in a social situation that they want to escape, was recorded at Digital Forest Studios and mastered by non-other than Joe LaPorta, who is known for having mastered the likes of The Killers, Vampire Weekend and Imagine Dragons.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

LOCAL GOLD! Gangs Of Ballet - Form & Function

Without a doubt on of the best live acts in South Africa at the moment, Gangs of Ballet have just released the 2nd edition of the 3 part series of EP’s – “Form & Function”. Highlighting the band’s magnificent writing ability, this 6 track taster is filled with soon-to-be fan favourites. With 2 massive radio singles, “Something” and “Follow”, this album is set to be another token of success in this phenomenal band’s repertoire.

GREAT CD! Lady Gaga - Joanne

The new album is called Joanne, and the “boys” include Mark Ronson, Beck and the modish, Randy Newman-like songwriter Father John Misty. Both the title and the personnel inform an aesthetic. Lady Gaga says she is a hipster from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, so these artists fit her better than many would expect. Indie, musically organic, they hail from very different clubs from her previous collaborators R Kelly and Beyoncé; cheaper ones with more spilt whisky. Gaga’s career was founded on the dance tunes Paparazzi, Poker Face and, the pop song of the decade, Bad Romance. Although, on Born This Way (2011), her sound widened to melodies not unlike the Killers meeting Elton John, she has, by and large, been disco fun. Those boys of hers? Pretty much anything but. Sir Elton, a mentor of sorts, claims this album is her Tapestry. Shorn of energetic weirdness, concentrating on American country tradition, backed by her superb voice, that’s a mad pitch that sounds more likely the more you hear of it. “I believe everybody has a Joanne in their life,” she says of an album she claims has universal appeal. “Everybody has someone they’ve either lost or is a pending loss. My best friend has stage 4 cancer...”

Friday, 14 October 2016

Kings Of Leon is back with their new CD, Walls

Multi-platinum selling rock band Kings Of Leon has released their highly anticipated seventh studio album Walls today. The Grammy Award winning group decided to return to their recording roots in Los Angeles and worked with famed producer Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Florence + the Machine). The album opened at #1 on the South African iTunes Top 100 albums chart as well as the Top Alternative albums charts.

‘Walls’, which comes three years after their Grammy Nominated album ‘Mechanical Bull’, has been teased the past several days in a series of cryptic social media posts that have had fans in a frenzy. In a teaser from the band, Caleb Followill shared a glimpse of what’s to come and gives a mysterious foreshadowing of the album with a voiceover saying, “…the walls come down.”  Lyrically, the album touches on band members’ personal stories, which Q Magazine calls “goosebump inducing” and “worth holding your breath for.”

Say hello to Bonfire Buffalo

Like a bull in a china store, this rock band is here to break the preconceived ideas of what South African rock music should sound like.

Bonfire Buffalo hail from Pretoria, this three piece, female fronted rock band consists of Ivy Ann van Rooyen on vocals, Ewoud van Rooyen on guitar and Carl Dedekind on bass. Drawing influence from artists diverse and universal including Zebra & Giraffe, Mango Groove, Nirvana, QOTSA, Radiohead and more, the band come together to create their experimental blend of pop, melodic rock.

Presenting the band’s debut single - Back in School - is an explosive ‘“hello we’re here” from the band. With guest drummer, Mike Wright (previously from Zebra & Giraffe), the single is a catchy pop, rock track with a strong 80’s dance hook, that immediately gets your feet tapping and transports you back to your childhood and lets you relieve the first tugs and rush of excitement that was falling in love.
Formed in 2016, the band will release their debut EP on October 21, feature 6 tracks of the best pop rock ever heard in South Africa. Recorded at Openroom Productions and produced by Greg Carlin (Zebra & Giraffe).

Louise Carver releases brand new single ‘Lift Off’

Louise Carver’s brand new single ‘Lift Off’ is exclusively on iTunes and Apple Music today. The single is available for fans to stream or download and is the first single to be released from Louise Carver’s sixth studio album ‘Hanging In The Void’ which is available for pre-order now on iTunes.

Fans can stream ‘Lift Off’ on Apple Music and download the single and pre-order the album here on iTunes.

‘Lift Off’ is a beautiful solo return from Carver after her single ‘Sunrise’ with US DJ Joe Bermudez reached #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart less than 2 months ago.

“I am so proud of 'Lift Off' - the message and emotion in the song is one of hope and a belief that even when things seem impossibly hard, you can move forward and find happiness. All my songs come from a place of emotional honesty and 'Lift Off' is one of my most vulnerable. I hope it gives people a lot of joy when they hear it.”

Louise has had multiple radio hits with singles such as ‘Empty Fantasy’, ‘It Don’t Matter’ and ‘Warrior feat. Zulu Boy’ and her forthcoming album ‘Hanging In The Void’ is set to deliver many more radio and fan favourite singles, starting with the first release ‘Lift Off’. The album was recorded with one of SA’s finest producers Mark Beling, a renowned musician himself and former front man of Mean Mr Mustard, and is arguably Carver’s best work to date.

“Mark and I worked on 'Hanging in the void' for over a year and a half and it is how I always imagined creating music would be. We laughed, pulled our hair out and shared ideas, no ego, only the unwavering love of music with integrity. This album captures my heart,” comments Louise.

‘Hanging In The Void’ is due for release digitally on iTunes and Apple Music on Friday 28 October and the physical album will be available in music stores nationwide from Monday 7 November.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

River Republic is here!

Music lovers, escape to River Republic (2 - 4 December, Round The Bend Camp, Breede River, Swellendam) with the same team that brings you Up the Creek every year. Same river, different venue.  Beautiful green grass, tall trees and a stage next to the water. Meet new people, make friends for life, and for a while forget your city strife.

The line-up for this year is fun, fast and footloose. Some of SA`s best bands and DJ`s will keep you entertained all weekend.  It is hot, it is summer, it is time to shake things up. Join us in paradise and let`s party with Adrian Gemini, Crimson House, DJ Dirtroad, Forefront, Hans Zen, Hugo.Hugh, Jackal and the Wind, Manouche, MCCREE, Nate Maingard, ROBFATHER, Sir Sean Young, Slow Jack, Southern Wild, The Jackie Oh`s, The Liminals, Tom James(UK), Veranda Panda and Tuin.

This year`s line -up consists of magnificent artists that have something new and refreshing to offer: Slow Jack exploded onto the SA Music Scene after their stellar performance at Jagermeister presents Up the Creek 2016 and their first single release “Love to Dream” reached no 1 on 5fm`s SA Top 30 Charts. View their studio version of the single here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mtaZDec1NA

Tom James from the UK is River Republic`s special international guest artist. James utilizes unique playing methods that stray from simple strummed chords as he finger-picks complex arpeggios and uses his guitar percussively on his lap. Matched with his trickling harmonies, raw vocals and lyrical depth, his music is bound to captivate the eyes and ears of the audience and swiftly convert them into dedicated fans. Listen to Tom James here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS2l3RoQ-80

New on the block is the lovely Jackie Ohs: an all-girl DJ Trio that looks like a sixties fashion spread and have the moves that will put Jagger to shame.  Dressed up in vintage clothes, with go-go boots, beehives and the works, they press buttons to create a time machine straight to the swinging sixties.

Drawing inspiration from a melting pot of styles and flavours, The Liminals are on a mission to share their eclectic blend of energetic and groovy tunes. Being Backed up by a powerfully dynamic and engaging live show, fans have seen the band become regulars on the Cape Town music scene.  “Funk, indie-rock, jazz, blues and even the occasional African-influence coalesce to create the band’s signature sound. Unpredictable, strangely pleasing discordant moments intersperse smoothly grooving, ska-influenced tunes. Their overall sound is clean-cut and clarified, and jangling guitar and full, smoothly rolling vocals contribute a decidedly eloquent feel to their music as a whole.” http://samusicscene.co.za/wp/introducing-the-liminals/

Jackal and the Wind wishes to whisk people away to a world with neither boundaries nor proclamation. They explain how they got their name: “As the jackal hungers for music filled with unadulterated, emotional and palpable sound, the wind reminds us that not all that can’t be seen is to be out of mind.” They will be releasing their debut single, "The People Sing” on October 20th. Tecla Ciolfi from www.texxandthecity.com describes the new single as: “An upbeat folk anthem just in time for summer, rooted in distinct African melody that’s lifted by a classic sing-along chorus and traditional harmonies”

So many wonderful acts, so little space to talk about them all. One thing is for sure, with names like Forefront, Tuin, The ROBFATHER, MCCREE and Southern Wild, Republicans can expect an intriguing and unusual mix of fantastic party music. Let the music keep playing with a shake and a shiver, and you’ll be ever so grateful you came to the river!

! Early Birds are sold out!
Phase 2 tickets still available:
Adult Festival Ticket R770 (excl. booking fees)
Kids 12 & Over Ticket R350 (excl. booking fees)
Kids under 12 free entry.

Camping (with toilets and hot showers) included in ticket price, but if you prefer a little more luxury – these are your options:
A-Frame Chalet (2-sleeper) R2,900 (excl. booking fees)
A-Frame Chalet (4-sleeper) R5,200 (excl. booking fees)
Aloe Ridge Self-catering House (4-sleeper) R6,800 (excl. booking fees)
Note: These chalet and house accommodation options do not include festival tickets. Must buy tickets separately. Book here: http://www.riverrepublic.co.za/ticket-packages/

Garbage reveal brand new video for ‘Magnetized’

Indie rockers Garbage have made a video for their second single “Magnetized” off their critically acclaimed album ‘Strange Little Birds’. Scott Stuckey directed the video.

Shirley Manson - "We made the video for Magnetized at Pancake Mountain Headquarters in Los Angeles with an incredibly gifted team under the madcap direction of my next door neighbour Scott Stuckey. We wanted to create an ode to the magic of science and the mysteries of love.“

On working with Garbage and Shirley Manson, director, Scott Stuckey said – "Magnetized" is one of my favorite songs on the album - anytime you get to send 300,000 volts of electricity through an 8-year-old Shirley Manson doppelgänger and the real Shirley, then YES, sign me up!”

Garbage’s sixth studio album Strange Little Birds is available in stores and at all digital retailers. The album was recorded and produced by the band (Shirley Manson, Steve Marker, Duke Erikson and Butch Vig) in Los Angeles and released via their own STUNVOLUME Records. Strange Little Birds is the follow up to 2012’s heralded Not Your Kind of People.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

They're back! Depeche Mode rocks with new sound

OH MY GOD! I've never been so excited about a Depeche Mode CD. The new CD is called Spirit, and as the snippets I've just heard it's something like Songs Of Faith And Devotion meets Violator. Think Personal Jesus meets I Feel You. The CD is set for release early next year.

And the band is touring again, called the Global Spirit Tour, although no details have been announced, and a big tour for Europe. No news yet on more shows, although they said in the press conference more dates will follow. God, I hope they tour South Africa again!

I'm truly floored in a good way of what I've heard. The last time I've been so excited by a CD was with Playing The Angel and Songs Of Faith And Devotion.

Friday, 7 October 2016

The Voice SA winner Richard Stirton releases debut album Middle Ground

Today, the first winner of M-Net’s popular talent competition The Voice SA, Richard Stirton, released his debut album entitled Middle Ground.

The writing and pre-production of the album took place over three months and includes contributions by various writers, including Richard himself. He also had the opportunity to work with the likes of Brad and Josh Klynsmith from Gangs of Ballet and Jethro Tait from the group Four on this album. Middle Ground was produced by Denholm Harding and recorded at the legendary B-Sharp Studios in Boksburg.

Richard describes the recording environment as very relaxing - something he sees as vital for fostering creativity because “when you are truly comfortable, you can fully express yourself from a creative point of view”, he says.

“The Voice SA and my experiences since winning the show have opened my eyes to a lot of different aspects of music, the writing process being one of them. This journey has helped me to deliver a diverse, emotive and honest album. I am exceptionally proud of the album. The messages of the songs are honest and true and the efforts put in by everyone involved are aligned with this. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to record this debut album, to have worked with some of the best musical creators in the industry, and the product that has been created as a result of that,” Richard concludes.

REVIEW! Twin Atlantic - GLA

Scottish rockers Twin Atlantic quite surprised me with their more edgy rockier sound on their fourth CD GLA. Previously their sound was kind of poppy sing-alongs which was, well, meh. But now, I'm sitting up and taking notice of this band. For one, they are good. Secondly, their music has matured into something that I can only describe as rock-heaven. And thirdly, I think this is the album they always wanted to make. Edgy and in your face. I get goosebumps when I heard the roar ripping guitar riffs on opening track ' Gold Elephant : Cherry Alligator'. And I'm totally into the track No Sleep. Yes, I'm a sucker for guitar riffs, awesome vocal range and killer lyrics. Two tracks, ‘You Are the Devil’ and 'Overthinking’ could maybe have been re-tweaked. With that said, the band has really grown since their previously releases and they've pushed their sound into something that will keep you listening over and over.

John Legend back with hot new single

Gentleman crooner John Legend is back with a sexy new single “Love Me Now” from his forthcoming 5th studio album, Darkness & Light, the follow up to his critically acclaimed release Love in the Future which featured the global smash, All of Me. John's approach to creating this album was different than usual: he worked primarily with one producer. “Love Me Now” was co-written and produced by John Legend with assistance of Blake Mills, who is perhaps best known as the EP of the Alabama Shakes album, which was John's favorite album last year (and also won Album of the Year). The single "Love Me Now" is about the uncertainty of what may happen tomorrow; a call to action to not wait, love now, embrace life now.

Mango Groove is back with brand new CD!

South African supergroup Mango Groove confirm the release of their first new material in 7 years.  The double album titled, Faces To The Sun, is set for release on 28 October 2016. 

The album comprises 24 songs, includes 9 all-new, original Mango Groove tracks and also features 15 powerful and touching renditions of classic South African songs, with collaborations with some of SA’s finest artists.

The new material celebrates Mango Groove’s skillful penmanship, with the lead single entitled ‘From The Get Go’.  Other stand out tracks include the beautiful ‘Kind’ and the title track, ‘Faces To The Sun’.

Says Claire Johnston, ‘’Wow, this really was a project of the heart for us: over four years in the making, a host of new songs we are really proud of, and at the same time a chance to celebrate our favourite SA songs from the last few decades.’’

The collaborations are truly special with legendary and new artists alike, adding their voices to unforgettable songs like Mmalo We, Malaika, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Kinders Van Die Wind and Another Country, to mention but a few. Featured artists include Rebecca Malope, Vusi Mahlasela, Juanita du Plessis, Zolani Mahola from Freshly Ground, Kurt Darren, Romanz, Mo T from Mi Casa, and “Big Voice Jack” Lerole (his last ever recordings), among others.

Says John Leyden, ‘’The choice of collaborators was a very personal process for us, and we feel hugely honoured and privileged that so many great SA artists chose to celebrate this project with us. We chose iconic SA artists that have been part of our own musical journey and whose amazing voices suited our interpretations of the songs, but at the same time, we also worked with a couple of new and exciting contemporary artists that brought their own magic to the tracks’’

 Says Claire Johnston, ‘’In many ways, for Mango Groove the  Faces to the Sun project was about much more than music, as it was about celebrating being South African in all its many forms. In essence, the two CDs are really just different sides of the same coin. If ‘Memories and Moments’ (the first CD) celebrates where we have come from, and the great SA tracks that have touched us through the decades, then ‘’Here, Now and Forever’’ (the second CD) is very much about Mango Groove today, and where we are going in the future.’’

The new album will be released by Warner Music South Africa. Says MD, Tracy Fraser: “Mango Groove is quite simply South African music royalty. We are very excited to help write the next chapter in their incredible story.”