Tune-in to Kwelagobe ‘Kwela’ Sekele’s powerful new frequency; Yeoville Radio - Bubblegum Club

Tune-in to Kwelagobe ‘Kwela’ Sekele’s powerful new frequency; Yeoville Radio

Vocalist, song writer and producer Kwelagobe ‘Kwela’ Sekele has been shaking up the South African music scene for over a decade. As visionary and vocalist for the Kwani Experience, which took off in the early to mid-2000s, he helped to lay the foundations for an explosive new-generation of Johannesburg bands that built on the legacies of groups like Harari, Stimela, and Sankomota, and gave rise to the likes of the BLK JKS, Tumi and the Volume, 340ml, Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness (BCUC), and The Brother Moves On. Sekele’s personal journey within the industry speaks to an unwavering passion and dedication – while performing and discovering the power of his own sound, he has also worked with the record label Motif, contributed to the realisation of Melt2000’s ‘Music with No Name’ series, acted as tour management for greats like Zaki Ibrahim, and currently works as Music Supervisor for Rhythm City. Sekele is man unafraid of pushing boundaries in search of excellence and originality, and his sonic explorations have seen him morph through multiple incarnations (you can watch the scorching music video for ‘Moni’ by the Po Box Project here), and embrace a wide variety of collaborations; such as those with DJ Oil (former Troublemakers), Top Shayela, MXO, Boyza, DJ Lemonka, Prof Trance, Spacemunna, Bhubesi and even the rockabilly band, Black Pimp’n Jesus.

If any of this makes your mouth water, you’ll want to tune-in to Kwela’s latest solo-project, fusing multiple musical influences, including Afro-beats, indigenous sounds, early SA pop hits, praise poetry, hip-hop, synth and electronica; Yeoville Radio. Named after the elusive Johannesburg suburb, Yeoville Radio reflects on the vibrant and frenetic experiences of the pan-African economic migrants that occupy the community. Songs in the project are laced with polyphonic grooves, trans-lingual vocals, South African colloquialisms and street flair, with Kwela vocalising the contemporary African experience from the perspective of living and walking the streets of Johannesburg. The Project’s first single, Pfukani (‘wake up’) was recently launched at the Soweto Art and Craft Fair, through the support of Concerts SA’s 2016 Mobility Fund, as well as Jozi Unsigned, with this being the first in a series of regional shows set to take place in the SADC region over the next few months. The line-up reunited Kwela with former Kwani Experience members Gontse Makhene and Mahlatse Riba, included the indomitable great, Sello Montwedi on drums, and brought Leanaphuthi Moloi and Senzo Nxumalo into the mix on keys and bass respectively. The lyrics of Pfukani are hard-hitting and pay tribute to South Africa’s workforce, incessantly grinding against ongoing disparity, with all of this wrapped-up in an innovative sound that ignites, inspires, and sets the soul to dancing; offering love and respect in a transcendent moment of freedom. Yeoville Radio is the powerful culmination of Kwelagobe Sekele’s years of experience and experimentation and is blazing a new trail that you’ll definitely want to follow…

1 Kwanele Sosibo, ‘The evolution of the black band, a decade on’ in the Mail & Guardian, 07 Nov 2014, Available: http://mg.co.za/article/2014-11-06-ten-years-on-the-black-band-is-not-dead

yeoville radio Pfukani



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