Freshlyground tells us about playing in Zimbabwe, their path to fame and so much more

2018-11-15 07:00

Cape Town - South African music legends Freshlyground are performing at Get Lucky Summer New Year’s Eve and the Vic Falls Carnival later this year so Channel24 invited them over for a quick coffee and a relaxed chat.

The talented musos told us all about their plans for the upcoming shows, what it’s been like to become immersed in the local music industry for so many years and what’s next for the hitmakers. 



(Photo: Jonx Pillemer/Supplied)

Freshlyground was first founded in 2001 with Zolani joining in 2002. The seven were all UCT students and got together to share music. With so many years behind them what have they learned about themselves, and the industry? 

Saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Simon mused; “Well, we started off with our big hit, Doo Be Doo and the album Nomvula which introduced us to the world. Since then things have changed within the band and within the industry. We’ve learnt a lot about ourselves as a band and as people. The local industry is small and a lot different than one, like the states for instance, where you can make a living off just touring or just one hit. There are fewer people here, so it’s a different process.  More challenging but rewarding too. "

In terms of their upcoming shows  - one of which sees the band return to Zimbabwe – the musos played their cards close to their chests with Zolani hinting; “It’s whatever we enjoy playing at the moment and obviously quite a few of the songs on our new album, Can't Stop. And we have all this music from across the seven albums that we’ll definitely include and the audience’s favourites as well.” 

Simon added; “There might even be a Zimbabwean song in there. Like last time.”

Zolani excitedly exclaimed; “Yes, just like the last time!” 

Simon explained; “We performed there once, four years ago and we had a lot of requests for this old classic, so we might perform it again this time. It’s from the 80’s.” 

The band then all bounced back and forth about what the name of the song was, with no consensus being reached but a tacit agreement being made that once the song was remembered it would be played at the festive music celebration north of the border. 

With Julio summing up the overall feeling of, “Hopefully people will like it, we’re looking forward to it (all of the shows).” 

Topping the radio and video charts wasn’t what Zolani always saw herself doing. She explained; “I had no idea that I would end up doing this full time. I started off studying drama at UCT and always thought I would be doing that. I always thought I would be an actress. What happened was I was performing in a play and I sang; someone saw me, and it went from there. Theatre was my first love and then music just took over. “ 

After so many years touring and seeing the world, you might think that there are specific items that can make for a good show but Julio says it’s more feelings than material possessions…Well at least for the most part, he elaborated; “Headphones, definitely, but other than that there’s not one specific thing, it’s more just a positive energy. Because the crowd can feel it, the energy that you go there with. It also depends on them and what energy they have. It’s all about energy. “

Looking to the future, Freshlyground has something exciting in store for fans, with Simon spilling the news, “we have a new music video coming soon, in a few weeks, so that’s definitely something for people to look forward to."

Zolani ended off by adding; “And obviously the shows, we’re really looking forward to closing out the year on a high and starting the new one with a bang. “ 

Read more on:    freshlyground  |  music

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