Exclusive Premieres

Exclusive Premiere: Sibusile Xaba with Naftali, Fakazile Nkosi & AshK “Umdali” (Brownswood)

Electronic Jazz Leftfield & Experimental Worldwide Sounds

Sublime improvised sounds from Pretoria-based guitarist, singer and songwriter, Sibusile Xaba on his latest offering, “Umdali”, with Naftali, Fakazile Nkosi & AshK, the second single taken from forthcoming Brownswood compilation, ‘Indaba Is’, celebrating the creative heights of the current South African improvised music and jazz scene.

We’ve been closely watching the South African musical scene for some time now as it never ceases to produce incredible artists. Brownswood Records no doubt feel the same as they have teamed up with two of its luminaries, Thandi Ntuli and The Brother Moves On’s Siyabonga Mthembu, to curate an essential snapshot of its freshest bands and artists.

On ‘Umdali’, Sibusile Xaba, brings fellow sonic adventurers Fakazile Nkosi, Naftali and producer AshK into the fold of his creationist agenda. Here, collectivism transcends hyperbole; coming into bloom via a staunch selflessness. AshK’s soundscaping is both elemental and cosmological while the harmonies and lyrical themes reflect the bounty of a deeply cherished apprenticeship with elders. “It comes back to the title of the album,” says Co Creative Director, Siya Mthembu, “which is also about bringing a sense of indigenous knowledge to what we do and raising a salute to those who are the custodians of that knowledge.”

Sibusile Xaba carries forth the Maskandi / Mbaqanga tradition of the KwaZulu Natal midlands, from where he originates. Steeped in the lineage of Zulu guitar giant Madala Kunene (Sibusile’s first mentor) & warrior chants of vocal master, Shaluza Max, he not only owns these influences, but pushes the envelope as only a maestro with a keen ear for the future of this folk heritage. Sibusile’s collaborators Fakazile Nkosi, Naftali and producer AshK are part of an artist collective at CAR (Capital Arts Revolution), a creative space based in the capital, Pretoria. CAR aims to rejuvenate artists through the teaching ideology of love and self-emancipation. The artists are part of society, not detached from it. Deeply rooted in the identity and collective history of Africa, CAR is about people, not corporations nor the state. The arts constitute one of the various ways through which CAR makes this revolution in identities possible.

AshK (left), Sibusile Xaba (centre), Naftali (right), Fakazile Nkosi (front) (photo by Tseliso Monaheng)

‘Umdali’ by Sibusile Xaba with Naftali, Fakazile Nkosi, & AshK is available across all digital streaming platforms on January 15th 2021. The ‘Indaba Is’ compilation sees release on January 29, and is available to pre-order now.


‘Indaba Is’ Tracklist:

1. Bokani Dyer – Ke Nako
2. The Brother Moves On – Umthandazo Wamagenge
3. Lwanda Gogwana – All Ok
4. The Wretched – What is History
5. Sibusile Xaba with Naftali, Fakazile Nkosi, & AshK – Umdali
6. The Ancestors – Prelude to Writing Together
7. Thandi Ntuli – Dikeledi
8. iPhupho L’ka Biko ft Hymnself & Kinsmen – Abaphezulu

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