The South African group Urban Village share the single “Izivunguvungu” out now on French label No Format.
Based in Soweto, Johannesburg, the South African band Urban Village is composed of four members, Lerato Lichiba on guitar, Tubatsi Moloi as singer and multi-instrumentalist, Smanga Dlamini on bass and Xolani Mtshali on drums. Together they bring a breath of fresh air to the country with their acoustic melodies rooted in Zulu roots, which drummer Xolani ‘Cush’ Mtshali describes as a “blend of folk music with traditional South African genres called mbaqanga, maskandi, Zulu rock, Xhosa funk“.
Children of the township, our “villagers” were all raised in Soweto, the city within the city that has more than a million inhabitants today, and whose history is marked by the struggles of resistance to apartheid and the music that accompanied them. It is by reappropriating this heritage that they have achieved their own synthesis, resolutely turned towards the future.
For Urban Village this single is “a song inspired by Zulu traditional music genre called Isicathamiya. It is a male opera style of music that Zulu Migrant workers performed together occasionally at their places of dwelling. The musical inspiration is mostly Isicathamiya – a harmonious style of music. We blended the rural traditional music with modern sound and Izivunguvungu was created. Izivunguvungu is a song about striving to overcome the storms and hardships of life, about the promise of the return home.”
Stream “Izivunguvungu” here.