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Ayanda - Music2Me (Umngoma)

2007-09-04 08:47
Music2me (umngoma) is an amalgamation of Zulu folk music, Maskandi, reggae, a dash of gospel, contemporary jazz, traditional music and even Indian inspired vibes. There isn’t a single trace of sugary Idols pap tunes on this unique offering. See, Ayanda is beyond singing other people’s songs. She has defined herself, her sound and what music is to her. We’re talking 15 original tracks of indigenous, spiritual African sounds. Yho! It’s so fresh that you’ll need to listen to it a couple of times to activate your mind to its heartfelt vibe.

On “Umngoma” Ayanda sounds like someone who just came back from ukuthwasa (traditional healing/sangoma training school for the uninitiated). It’s a Proudly African banger with haunting drums, an Imbongi (traditional poet) ululating in the intro, as well as vibrant marimba, djembe and isitorotoro. When Ayanda speaks in her mother tongue naming her culture clan and those whose blood runs through her veins you’ll feel the spirit and the energy as it moves you and reminds you of your African roots.

“Ngilambe lazelashona” (I was hungry all day) is another potent track. With her soft, ripe and soothing vocals complemented by traditional Zulu guitar and Indian-inspired vocal harmonies. It puts Ayanda in an urban contemporary league of her own. The entire album is like one huge family jam session boasting her famous Afro-jazz aunt Tu Nokwe as well as Marilyn and Patty Nokwe. Not forgetting her baby-daddy ‘Dzorobzarabza’ who rips the reggae/dancehall “Music2Me” apart with his Sepedi-Jamaican style chants.

The album also has interesting short interludes that sound like improvised vocal doodles and includes a chant on hearing her inner voices speak and sing to her. This it! Mzansi, Africa and the world should embrace this proudly Zulu and proudly African sister.

-Gugu Mkhabela
Talk about a revolution! Armed with a couple of years of post-Idols wisdom, the birth of a baby girl and experience from a short stint in a musical in the Big Apple, Ayanda is ready to set the Mzansi – no, scratch that - international music scene on fire!

What to read next: Kalahari

Alice Nqabi 2007/10/19 2:06 PM
Ayanda-Umngoma I just get goose bumps on this review on its own and Gugu you r great!!! The album itself takes me back to my grand parents in Swaziland!!! The Nokwes likes of Tu etc- its just yummy!!!
Mongezi Dinga 2007/10/25 2:53 PM
Umngoma The cd is quite cool and a must have because the song umngoma and I wonder, mmmm they take me to another level.
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