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A Four-Pack of South African Song

Sound Travels Wednesday was an adventure to South Africa for some lovely music Africa's southernmost nation. We started at 10am with a tune from Stimela, a band led by Ray Phiri, who was also notable as an arranger for Paul Simon's Gracelend back in the day. This fusion band blends the folk/soul sounds of South Africa's mbaqanga music with other influences and has been successful at it for decades. A true South African institution.

At 11am we heard some of the sweetest gospel sound from SA's most famous vocal groups, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. LBM was also a big part of Paul Simon's Graveland, much like Ray Phiri, whom I played earlier at the start. Went with a tune that is a favorite for world music heads world wide, "Homeless".

At noon, I playedquite possibly the first South African tune I ever heard.  Margaret Singana's "We Are Growing." I'd heard this back in 1986, it was the title theme music for the Shaka Zulu mini-series... tell me this isn't bad-ass!

We closed our Sound Trippin with a hybrid tune that is half mbaqanga and hip hop. Skwatta Kamp with an uplifting and socially conscious rap that's got some gospel in it as well. A lil different to say the least...


Production Manager | Radio Milwaukee