Thabani Nyoni and the South African All Stars is a powerhouse band of African and European musicians led by Thabani Nyoni. Thabani’s songs and sounds are progressive yet heavily influenced by African music.
Thabani’s father sang in an all male Zulu Choir called Amabutho which toured throughout the world, recorded with the Art ensemble of Chicago and performed for Nelson Mandela’s 70th Birthday at Wembley in 1988.
Ekaya features south African veteran singers and former members of Amabutho as well as up and coming talents Sabelo Ntuli and Tshepo Rakobo from Johannesburg. Also among the cast of musicians are: Bhundu boys drummer Kenny Chitsvatsva, former Mofro bass player Fabrice Quentin who also produced the album, Siyaya’s Tendai Mudimu, Jules Faife (Netsayi).
The first single from the album, Long road to Freedom is a tribute to the late great Nelson Madiba Mandela and the fight for Freedom led by Mandela and men like Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo.
Fused with Zulu harmonies and pulsating South African guitar lines, the song recounts the trials of a young Mandela determined to free South Africa from Apartheid to his eventual release and inauguration as President.
The opening track of the album This town sets the pace: bursting with warmth, vibrant and upbeat, it proves Thabani Nyoni is a bright new force on the African music scene.
The music and grooves are infectious enough but it is Nyoni and the vocals of his South African guests that grabs you first. Tremulous and confident, voices soar and swoop with a real sense of purpose. Lyrics in English and Zulu deal with the duality of expat life and Nyoni’s love of Africa.
SONGLINES - "Bright new force on the African music scene. Soulful stuff" - BBC Radio One - "Ones to watch" - BBC Radio 3 - "Beautilful spiritual uplifting African music” - DJ Bob Jones - "This lot deserve premiership action"