Bongeziwe MabandlaMore Info
Two time SAMA nominee Bongeziwe Mabandla made waves overseas in 2014 with his perfect blend of urban-African folk. His heartfelt lyrics and honest delivery has seen him take to the stage in countries including Germany, Spain, Japan, Australia and more. Influenced by artists like Tracy Chapman, Simphiwe Dana, Jabu Khanyile and Oliver Mtukudzi, his sound has a rhythmically grass-roots vibe, while fusing elements of traditional Xhosa music, mbaqanga, soul, hip-hop and dub.
Fokofpolisiekar was formed in 2003 when a group of friends from Bellville decided to start an Afrikaans rock band. The sound was fresh and very different from the Afrikaans rock pioneers that had gone before. In the ten years since their inception, they have reached cult status in their home country and Fokofpolisiekar has become a household name.
The band have become known for their explosive live performances and raw on-stage energy. Controversial and ever-questioning in their lyrics as well as their lifestyle, Fokofpolisiekar has generated much controversy in the South African media.
Milky ChanceMore Info
German music duo, Clemens and Philipp, better known as Milky Chance, became a viral online sensation after they released their self-produced single “Stolen Dance” on YouTube, which racked up over 30million plus views in one month. They mix elegant electronic production with acoustic guitars and lilting, lush vocals and have mastered an original style that can best be described as singer-songwriter spirit mixed with electronic beats.
Clemens says, “Somehow, it's always a little bit melancholy, but there's a positive spin. You can dance to most of it too! Melancholy is something that I carry within me. I write the best songs when this mood catches me.”
The Cat EmpireMore Info
Renowned all around the globe as one of the world's best festival bands, THE CAT EMPIRE never fail to start a party! Best described with a series of slashes which might run something like this - jazz/reggae/funk/latin/gypsy/cuban/Australian party music - THE CAT EMPIRE have been touring and releasing records for well over a decade.
Their latest album, "Steal the Light" debuted top 20 charts in six countries. No strangers to the stage, in March 2014 they played their milestone 1000th show. THE CAT EMPIRE has a massive army of fans the world over, and for very good reason. They deliver incredible musicality, humour, entertainment and energy and are guaranteed to make you smile and dance.
The KooksMore Info
"It’s a word that looks and sounds beautiful,” says Luke Pritchard. “I love the roundness of it, the simplicity of it.” The word the Kooks singer is extolling is “Listen” – which also happens to be the title of the band’s new album. Luke’s reasons for choosing that title become clear the moment you dive into the new record – as they do when he starts to describe its genesis, and the personal and emotional transformation he experienced while making it. “To me,” Luke continues, “this album is about pure expression. Even the way we made the album felt fresh. Rather than us just being a band in a room, playing our guitars with the vocal over the top, which is what we’d always done before, we were really listening to what was going on around us, picking up ideas. The whole thing was much more natural."
Listen was kick-started by the track Around Town, the bare bones of which Luke laid down in his flat in London. The song’s subject matter is catty, its melody infectious and immediate – and, compared with the Kooks’ previous material, it represents a major shift.
Freedom is certainly the right word for Are We Electric?, whose sparse verse, resting on the sweetest of soul-funk grooves, gives way to a chorus of glorious, incandescent joy.