Featured Music Reviews

Seba Kaapstad signs to Mello Music Group & releases an awe-inspiring single titled ‘Breathe’

The Seba Kaapstad journey started in 2013 when Stuttgart, Germany, born student Sebastian Schuster moved to Cape Town. While spending some time in the Mother City familiarizing himself with the new surroundings, cultures and people, he later met other young Cape Town based students, Zoe Modiga and Ndumiso Manana, who he would proceed to start a working musical relationship. As a result of the formation of their working relationship in music, a beautiful chemistry was formed allowing them to push boundaries musically.

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Image source: Facebook

Pulling from their respective roots and upbringings, it came as no surprise that what Seba Kaapstad would go on to deliver was going to be groundbreaking. With South African, Swazi and German reference points, Seba Kaapstad designed its own blend of jazz-inspired sound which also draws stylistic influences from hip hop, rhythm & blues, soul and electronic dance music. 2016’s Tagore’s was the result of three years of hard-work spent crafting this sound. The ten-track masterpiece was their first official introduction to the world as an act – it saw them defeat conventions by stretching genres from yesteryear and thrusting them into the modern realm. The group also added a fourth member in 2016; Philip Scheibel, to complete the team. Their sound, although their journey started in South Africa, carried universal themes with global nuances which makes the music easily understood by all who interact with it – as the approach and the style was shamelessly worldly.

Now six years later, the group has re-emerged with a more experimental and mature interpretation of music. Each member has grown personally and musically; with Zoe Modiga releasing SAMA award-winning album, Yellow, which propelled her into the limelight in the South African music industry. Now with accolades and access to more ears, the group re-unites to shift the landscape of music once again. Their tireless work and innovative spirit has allowed them to catch the attention of influential American independent label, Mello Music Group, which signed them making them the first international act of the label.

The announcement of this monumental signing came with the release of Breathe – an awe-inspiring track which has many unexpected but impressive twists and turns in direction. The track serves as a beautiful display of their style and what they have to offer.

Great things are to be expected from this group. They are certainly ready for world domination.

Stream Breathe below.

Featured Music Reviews

South African jazz re-imagined: Rhea Blek’s unique, modern take on jazz & artistically finessing her way into the hearts of music lovers

RHEA BLEK (real name Naledi Refiloe Makhetha) is a South African treasure. The Durban born and bred artist is a breath of fresh air and a rising force in the South African urban music scene. With an unmatched, inimitable style, the young sister does what many cannot do – capture the ears and hearts of listeners after one listen of her music. That’s rare and an undisputable indication and display of talent.

Hailing from the beautiful Kwa-Zulu Natal coastal city, Durban, affords her the opportunity to immerse herself in the progressive arts and culture scene in the region. Rhea blek’s rise in the music scene comes at a time where Durban is becoming a focal point for unearthing talent to shake up the local music industry. Acts like Red Robyn, Victoria Raw, Muzi and ByLwantsa are breaking through and receiving much acclaim for their work. One of the biggest artists to come out from this new generation of Durban acts is Shekinah, who now has won multiple SAMA awards for her Rose Gold album. The interesting thing about what RHEA BLEK and her peers do is how their gifted to show a different side of city and offer something unique to the South African listener.

RHEA’s first shot in breaking into the industry was through her three-track EP titled THIIIRD WAV – a ground-breaking body of work that thrust the young artist before the eyes and ears of South African music lovers. The EP was a mixture of all the sounds that inspire her, you can hear traces of R&B, pop, neo soul and very strong jazz influence. Media platforms that cover and champion alternative music went crazy, all covering her as a new act that was to shift perspectives in the urban music scene. We vehemently agree with all the media platforms that co-signed her. He ascent is passion-driven and is happening organically, which is a beautiful sight to see as she blossoms into the artist she is destined to be.

Her end goal is to become a professional recording musician, establish a record label and management company and release multiple albums. She’s not only working on becoming an innovative musician, but she also has plans on becoming an entrepreneur in the music industry. As a performing artist, she has rocked crowds at major events such as Woke Arts and We Are One Music Festival, spaces that are very progressive, inclusive and safe for different types of people.

She is an artist that has a bright future, full of potential and a lot to offer to the world. With new music coming out soon, we can only imagine how much she is going to amaze us.

Listen to her THIIIRD WAV EP below.

Featured Music Reviews

Meet Thoko Namuya: Dynamic LA-based Southern African artist taking the world by storm

Every once in a while, an artist comes along and turns your world upside down, and reminds you why you music is such a vital part of human existence. Sure, the music industry consistently churns out music from old and new artists, but what’s rare these days is music that is genuinely real in composition. Music that allows the composer to be vulnerable, sincere and open. That’s rare, expression in its rawest form is difficult to come by nowadays.

LA-based Southern Africa audio engineer and vocalist, Thoko Namuya, who grew up in Zambia and South Africa, is an artist relishing in her truth. A truth that affords her an opportunity to express herself without conforming to the pop world, and in doing so she is able to build a fan base that she can age with and curate personalised, meaningful experiences for. Stylistically, she can easily remind you of soulful artists such as Sarah Vaughn, Erykah Badu and Esperanza Spalding.

Her sound is rich in textures drawn from contemporary Jazz, R&B and Neo-Soul complemented by African melodies, rhythms and harmonies. With this very sound comes ‘Fallin’, her breakout single which has gifted her local and global acclaim, from international music blogs to being played on one of South Africa’s biggest alternative music radio show headed by Kid Fonque, Selective Styles.

Thoko is undeniably a treasure, one that we should champion, support and be grateful for, as she is setting new standards for music in Southern Africa.

Featured Music Reviews

Long Beach, California, duo Soular System takes us on a soulful journey with their new album

Long Beach, California, based duo Soular System first came up on our radar when they dropped their debut project, Summer Solstice, in June 2016. We were immediately enamored with their music as we were forced to reminisce to a time when soul music made us feel. The digital age has given modern music a short lifespan and it is becoming more difficult to find albums that are timeless. Soular System challenges that notion and their new project, Eclipse, is testament to that.

Eclipse is an auditory experience like no other coupled with an unmatched soulful feel – guaranteeing all types of wonderful ‘feels’. You can expect to hear a combination of Funk, Soul, House RnB, Hip Hop and electronic nuances sprinkled all over the twelve-track strong album. The vocalist, Anthony Lynn, serenades the listener with his unique and uncharacteristic style of singing which complements the productions made by Tom Kendall.

Eight months ago, the duo first gave us, Sakatim, a teaser of what we were to expect from the album. 

Songs like For James Yancey serve as reminders as to why this type of music important – with the song being a beautiful interpretation of the late J Dilla‘s work. Music with soul, a feeling and a connection is not dead y’all and Soular System is a crucial voice making sure that modern neo-soul is alive and well.

Stream the project below