Mango Groove and Kurt Darren team up for a beautiful rendition of Under African Skies

2018-07-06 09:06
Mango Groove

Cape Town - The video opens to the sounds of a penny whistle – a signature of Mango Groove’s music.

A few seconds in the warm voices of Claire Johnston and Kurt Darren begin singing the opening lyrics, “Joseph’s face was black as night . . .”

It’s Mango Groove’s rendition of Paul Simon’s Under African Skies, and after nearly two years they’re finally ready to share a video of the song with their fans.

The South African Afropop band and the Afrikaans singer are an unlikely pair but it’s a match seemingly made in music heaven.

“I’ve known Claire for years,” Kurt says. “Mango Groove is part of the lives of South Africans. It was an honour to record the song with them and I was extremely flattered when they approached me.”

For the legendary band there really was no other option but Kurt, Claire tells us when we chat to her from Johannesburg.

“We had a little wish list compiled of artists we wanted to work with. Kurt was right on top,” she says. “He has the voice of an angel. He’s instant, he focuses and he just nails it.”

John Leyden, the founding member of Mango Groove, made the call to Kurt in 2015 and the singer said yes without a moment’s hesitation.

The video was recorded late the following year in Skills Village 2030, a training centre in Johannesburg. It only took three takes to complete the video.

The effortlessness comes across in the footage and Kurt adds that everyone blended well.

“When you do a duet, this is how it should be done! Everything just worked perfectly.”

Kurt’s switch from popular Afrikaans music to a genre that fuses pop and township music isn’t that strange – to him, music is a universal language.

“My audience might be Afrikaans, which is why I mostly record in Afrikaans, but I sing that which is beautiful to me.

“English or Afrikaans, music is a universal language.”


Read more on:    mango groove  |  kurt darren  |  music  |  local music

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.