Freshlyground formed in early 2002, and is made up of seven talented and diverse musicians from South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Fronted by the diminutive but dynamic Zolani Mahola, the band exudes a live performance energy that has been the bedrock of their success. The experienced rhythm section of Peter Cohen (drums) & Josh Hawks (bass) is complimented by guitarist Julio Sigauque, keyboardist Seredeal Scheepers, Simon Attwell (flute, mbira, sax and harmonica) and violinist Kyla Rose Smith. Although hailing from diverse backgrounds, between them the band’s members weave a musical magic that is highly infectious and undeniably groovy.
In 2003 Freshlyground launched their debut album, Jika Jika under their own Freeground Records label, the immediate success of which firmly cemented the band as one of South Africa’s most successful young acts.
Freshlyground released their second studio album Nomvula in July 2004. Nomvula was recorded and produced by JB Arthur and Sibusiso Victor Masondo. The album sparked interest from Sony BMG Africa, who signed the band and released Nomvula in September that year. Radio quickly picked up on the single ‘Doo Be Doo’ and the catchy song went on to become a crossover favorite amongst a diverse spread of stations and their listeners. ‘Doo Be Doo’ was the most played song in South Africa in 2005. The major success of ‘Doo Be Doo’ was followed by the singles ‘I’d Like’, ‘Zithande’, ‘Things Have Changed’ and the title track of the album ‘Nomvula’.
The album sold[masked] units in South Africa alone- earning it multi-platinum status. The success and broad appeal of the band was celebrated in November 2006 when Freshlyground won the MTV Europe Award in the category Best African Act. The award placed the band firmly on the international music map and earned them further recognition on home soil as significant South African cultural exports.
The success of Nomvula was followed by that of Ma Cheri - Freshlyground’s third studio album, released in September 2007. The album’s release was followed by a major South African tour attended by over[masked] people across four cities. The tour was produced by Freshlyground and supported by Volkswagen South Africa. The tour successfully raised the performance and production standards of local touring, putting the band on par with international acts in terms of production scale and value. Ma Cheri sold multi platinum in South Africa and the single Pot Belly became another major crossover success.
In 2009 Freshlyground did 4 sold out tours in Europe. They also toured for the first time in China, the United States of America and Canada, making the band one of a handful of South African acts to have a successful and sustainable career both internationally and at home.
Now, with their already GOLD fourth studio album, ‘Radio Africa’, Freshlyground is preparing to broadcast their unique sound, a sound that has turned the seven-piece into one of South Africa’s most treasured acts, to the rest of the continent and the world. While putting the finishing touches to ‘Radio Africa’ in New York in February this year the band was selected to co-perform in the Official Song for the 2010 World Cup.
Entitled ‘ Waka Waka- This Time For Africa” the song is featured on “Listen Up: The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Album™,” and is a collaboration with Colombian superstar, Shakira.
Freshlyground performed Waka Waka live at the FIFA Kickoff Concert and the Word Cup Final game between Spain and the Netherlands which broadcast to over a billion people world wide. To date ‘Waka Waka’ has sold well over 3 million singles and reached number #1 on several charts worldwide. The song is the most successful anthem in the history of the FIFA World Cup and has introduced Freshlyground and their music to a host of new fans across the globe.
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Calling all Afrobeats lovers! From Fela Kuti and Hugh Masekela to P-Square and D'Banj, Afrobeats is taking the UK music scene by storm. Let's get together for live gigs, parties, club nights and everything in-between to celebrate this exciting new sound.
If you like music that is different, unique, organic yet modern, with no boundaries, energetic and fused with modern genres without losing its actual identity then you need look no further than Afrobeats.
Afrobeats is the sound of young Africa which is growing in popularity through out the UK and the world. The genre's name stems from Nigeria's Afrobeat which was made popular by Fela Kuti and Tony Allen in the 70s.
Now, we have a young generation of artists not scared to make some fresh new music that has made them superstars with an even bigger fanbase following the likes of Wizkid, 2face, D'banj, P-Square, V.I.P, R2bees, Dj Cleo, HHP, Nameless, Chameleone, K'naan, Cabo Snoop, K'millian, Gal Level, Winky D, Nneka & Kaysha just to name but a few who are household names in and out of Africa with music being played worldwide as well as selling out concerts and fuelling the clubbing scene week in week out.
This group is open to all who appreciate the funky, hyped and energetic sound coming out of Africa right now.
Looking forward to meeting you all at an upcoming meet up.
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