Welcome to AfroSoultemba
It’s that time again! September means 30 days of head-bopping, hip-swaying and foot-tapping soul music on your airways. This year for Soultemba, we are keeping things very close to home. Soultemba 2016 will be all about Afro-soul music. To that end, here are five Afro-soul songs that will never get old and are sure to bring back some good memories.
1. Simphiwe Dana’s Chibok
Siphiwe Dana’s musical catalogue is one that needs to be preserved for future generations. From her debut album, Zandisile, her music has captured so much of what it means to be a proud African today. Her concern for the abducted Nigerian schoolgirls from Chibok – who are yet to be found and returned home – is reflected in this beautiful song that draws on motherly love. She released it on the one-year anniversary of the abduction.
2. Caiphus Semenya’s Nomalanga
Several music genres originated from soul music including R&B. Would songs such as Nathi Mankayi’s mega hit Nomvula and countless others exist without Semenya’s Nomalanga? A song about having to leave one’s home and life, it colours in the loneliness and assures the listener, Nomalanga’s ‘stand-in’, that all will be well.
3. Thandiswa Mazwai’s Nizalwa Ngobani
When Thandiswa Mazwai released her first solo album in 2004 Zabalaza, you wouldn’t have been wrong to expect more of the Bongo Maffin sound. But at the time, South African music was transitioning from the freedom of Kwaito in the 1990s into the uncertain territory of the 2000s.
Zabalaza turned out to be an introspective project and Nizalwa Ngobani, features the opening lyrics “the world changes, revolutionaries die and the children forget”. Ten years into our democracy, this was what Mazwai was thinking about.
4. The Soil’s Baninzi
Another song that alludes to love. Afro-soul’s only acapella group, The Soil, sings about having many suitors but only one true love. The arrangement and melodies are beautiful.
5. Lira’s Feel Good
Over the years, Lira’s music has kept her on the charts and on radio. She is ranked among those who will carry the baton into the next generation of Afro-soul artists. Feel Good is a light song, like the easiest Sunday morning.