Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse is much more than one of South Africa, and the worlds, most admired and respected musician; he is a gentle living legend.
Today, after close to 50 years of musical accomplishment and history behind him, Mabuse’s influence on the industry that gave him his voice continues to grow in leaps and bounds.
Mabuse wears many hats – entertainer, businessman, father and care-giver to many, he is an integral part of the entertainment industry and his contribution to the diverse landscape of South Africa is appreciated and honoured by music lovers the world over. From Carnegie Hall, New York to NewtownBorn in Johannesburg in 1951, Mabuse began playing the drums from the age of 8 – the instrument that he would master to such an extent that he quickly gained the nickname "Hotstix", a name that follows him to this day.
Johannesburg, when "Hotstix" hits a stage, the world sits up and listens.
Fiercely proud and keen to share his wealth of knowledge, he’s passionate about having the youth look, learn and respect the veterans of what makes this country great. "Our elders, parents and forefathers need to be respected and heard for their contribution," he explains. "If we look and listen, we can only continue to grow."
Mabuse, as a clearly competent musician, has mastered many instruments: the drums, flute, piano, saxophone, kalimba, alto flute, timbales and African drums. However, as a young man, he thought he was destined to become a doctor or a lawyer, not a world famous musician. Music affected him at a very young age with influences from his grandfather and uncles, who were traditional singers of scatamiya, a choral music derivative sung mainly by men.
He began his career as a professional musician at the age of 15 when, during his high school years, he formed his first band The Beaters. The Beaters evolved to become Harari, one of the most successful acts that dominated the music scene of the 1970’s in South Africa. A highlight in their more than decade long career came in 1978 when the group was invited to perform in the USA with Hugh Masekela. During the tour, the band’s leader Selby Ntuli died, leaving Sipho as the new front man. Harari supported and backed Percy Sledge, Timmy Thomas, Letta Mbula, Brook Benton and Wilson Pickett on their South African tours. This eclectic ensemble was impossible to categorise; mixing funk and disco with jazz, while also using traditional African instruments to create a completely unique sound that many tried, but failed to imitate. They were the ultimate party band, yet boasted some of the best musicians around at the time, such as Alec Khali and Lionel Petersen. One of South Africa’s most important musical acts – Harari will forever hold legendary status – even after their split in 1982.
In his solo capacity, Mabuse continued to create great, original South African-born music, culminating with his most important single in 1985. "Burn Out" catapulted him to a new level of fame, turning him into a much applauded success. Released the year PW Botha, the former President, declared a state of emergency, this impeccably funky township disco jive jam became the first major crossover hit in South Africa, selling in excess of half a million copies. Over the years the song has been remixed by international deejays and covered by many of South African artists, qualifying it as one of the country’s most cherished classic tracks ever. His name became synonymous with "township jive", but, as his live performances over the past two decades have shown, it’s never been easy to label "Hotstix".
In 1996, after a ten-year sabbatical, Mabuse returned with the album Township Child, an album that brought him back into the musical forefront. A number of albums followed, including two live albums in 2005 and 2006, both captured the spirit of what makes every Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse performance great. In fact, throughout the course of Mabuse’s near 50-year career, he has become a musical ambassador for South Africa, performing in virtually every country in Africa and touring to places such as the United States, England, France, Germany and Italy as well as a host of others. He has also recorded and produced many legendary artists such as Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Ray Phiri and Sibongile Khumalo.
Beyond his ongoing musical and philanthropic work, he’s busier in 2010 than at the height of his pop career of the 1970’s and 80s. Accepting invitations to perform right around the world or championing many local causes, was made easier when in 2005, as owner of Kippies, he decided to close what si still remembered today as being one of the country’s most prolific jazz establishments. As a regular commentator on arts and culture in the country, he has sat on the boards of The National Arts Council and SAMRO (South African Musicians Rights Organisation).
As one era ended, so a new one has begun and with it the promise of a brand new album in 2011, the year in which Mabuse celebrates his golden anniversary as one of South Africa’s most endearing talent, the future looks bright indeed.
"I still have a lot to sing and perform for," he smiles in conclusion. Between constant touring that’s set to only increase, Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse is doing everything but slow down. "There is rarely a time when I am not actively involved in the music industry – and that’s the way I like it," he asserts.
Warm, compassionate, caring and gifted in ways even he is still learning about, this gentle giant of great original music is as vital a player today as he ever was. With a wealthy catalogue that’s anchored in Africa, all who meet, greet and share stages with him are equally touched by a humility and grace that’s as rare as the talent this living legend shares with us all.
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Listen to Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse's music on the links below
MUSICIAN, COMPOSER, PRODUCER, TEACHER…. STAR
SELAELO SELOTA was born and grew up in a rural village near Polokwane (formerly Pietersburg) in South Africa’s most northern Limpopo Province, where he remembers being greatly inspired by the traditional musical practice that were abundant all around him. On completing high school, and not having financial resources to further his studies, he found employment in mining. Working in the mines and living amongst the migrant workers, he was exposed to the traditional songs and dances from many other South African tribal groups. After three years, in 1989 he left the mines and went to Johannesburg – commonly known as “Egoli” (The City of Gold) – in search of a new direction in his life.
In Johannesburg he found work at Market Theatre as an usher and later as a cleaner at famous Newtown Night club Kippies Jazz International, where he seized every opportunity to learn from the musicians he heard performing there night after night. During that year he bought his first guitar FUBA (Federated Union of Black Artist) Academy. By June 1998 Selaelo was playing with his first band at the Market, and also gigging with renowned Ghananian artist George Lee and his outfit Anansi.
In 1992/93 SELAELO SELOTA worked on the shell Road of Fame Competition while teaching Jazz Guitar at FUBA Academy and in 1994 came a pivotal moment when he enrolled at the University of Cape Town’s renowned College of music to Study a Degree in Jazz Music. As a student and bandleader he performed Meropa, who played the Grahamstown Festival Fringe in 1995. Selaelo then formed his band Taola in 1996 as a vehicle of his original compositions, which were and still are an energetic and emotional fusion of Pedi music, modern elements and the traditional African musical experiences of his youth. Taola appeared numerous times on television and at live performances and festivals across the Cape region, including the UCT Jazz Festival held at the Baxter Concert Hall in Cape Town in 1997.
The band was then invited to perform at the Fin de Siecle Music in Nantes, France in October 1997, receiving standing ovation. Selaelo himself was awarded second prize in the prestigious Adcock Ingram Music Competition in1996 and in 1997 he won first prize, both in the Jazz category. By now he enjoyed a growing reputation and was regularly featured as a soloist and composer with the UCT Big Band. 1996 saw Selaelo appointed as one of the guitar teachers at the University, which followed into 1998 when he taught
Jazz Guitar and Jazz Improvisation.
SELALEO SELOTA graduated from UCT in 1997 with a Jazz Degree, majoring in Jazz Composition and arrangement. In that same year he worked with well-known musicologist and researcher, David Fanshwane during his “African Sanctus” tour with the London Bach Choir in 1997.
In 1998 Selaelo featured on the debut CD of fellow musician Frank Mallows and Brydon Bolton entitled “Adamstor –The spirit of Table Mountain”, his first studio recording experience. Selaelo performed in early 1999 with the quartet at the Blue Note’s “Cape Town Salutes the Guitars” event to great acclaim, and it was at this concert that the managing director of the North Sea Jazz Festival, Theo van den Hoek, sported Selaelo and booked him for that year’s Festival. In March 1999 came another critical moment, when he won the instrumental Category of the Old Mutual jazz Into The Future Competition (Western Cape regional finals). This is when Selaelo came to the attention of Dave Thompson, Marketing/A&R Director of BMG Africa, who instantly signed the Johannesburg bound young star to BMG new Giant step record label.
Virtually unknown outside of the Cape music circles, Selaelo set about recording his debut album PAINTED FACES in Rhino Studio near Mmabatho, working closely with Cape Town Gavin Goldberg. Featuring “Ma Modiegi” (that became a huge hit) and a slew of other superb songs, the album was released in 2000, and by the time Selaelo bounded onto the stage at the 2001 South African Music Awards to collect two SAMA’s Best Newcomer and the Best Contemporary Jazz Album, there was no doubting that this incredibly gifted musician mare than deserved the accolades.
The brace of SAMA’s signalled his arrival in a big way, and since the release of his debut album, Selaelo had rapidly earned the recognition of his peers, music critics, and perhaps most importantly, thousands of music fans around the country for his beautiful composition and his incendiary live performance- igniting the stage and the hearts of every single fan around the country with every performance. Selaelo’s international reputation is also growing in leaps and bounds. He has already shared the stage with several international stars including Jonathan Butler, Bob James, Kirk Whalum and more recently with Richard Bona.
He has also worked with Ronny Jordan amongst others. Selaleo Selota performed in New Orleans in November 2001 as part of a cultural exchange programme made possible through the New Orleans South African Connection (NOSACONN). Selaelo visited the huge Womex (World Music) Trade Fair in Germany in October 2002, a trip that with no doubt opened further doors for his burgeoning careers.
Selaleo Selota’s second album offering, ENCHANTED GARDENS,which went (Platinum selling more than 60 000 copies) is an 11-track album that continues the intelligent Afro Jazz thread that the songwriter wove so beautifully on PAINTED FACES, only this time stepping harder on the creative pedal to turn the new record into one of the must-have Afro jazz purchases of 2002 and well beyond into a timeless collectors item. Produced by Selaelo himself (revealing the artist to be just as skilled in this field…more on that later), ENCHANTED GARDENS boast the musical talents of his highly accomplished live band travels a musical path that includes traditional sounds, smooth jazz, stunning instrumentals, inspired vocals and much, much more. ENCHANTED GARDENS is a varied, textured, and diverse album with standouts including the live favourite ‘Thrr…Phaa!’ (recorded live at Caesars Palace in Gauteng and also turned into a stunning music video), ‘ Baya Ndipatha-Patha’ ( featuring the sassy vocals of Xolisa Dlamini) and ‘Le Ile Kae’, the latter surely one of the most exquisite South African compositions of recent years.
In the artist own words: “ENCHANTED GARDENS is very much about asserting my voice. I wanted this album to be one where I re-assert the voice that I have already set up with “PAINTED FACES”. In preparing for the album I had many chats with retailers and hawkers on the street and every time I visited them they’d say: ‘You’re never gonna to produce a classic like this’, holding onto a copy of ‘Faces’. So that was a challenge for me. I had to go back and listen to ‘Faces’ time and time again and I thought that it was beautiful indeed but I needed to come up with something that would say I maintained and took the standard further by solidifying my statement as a musician and my own voice and style. When I listen to both albums I can hear that this is the same person who recorded them both. If I am going to come with another album and people say ‘who is this’ it means that I do not have a voice”.
As with all the creative work undertaken by Selota, ENCHANTED GARDENS has at its core, a definite theme and vision. “ It’s about the Enchanted Gardens of your soul where beauty can be found- it’s that moment of life when you enchanted by things. Take the song ‘Naomi First Dance’. After my daughter was born and I saw moving for the first time, I thought about a human being’s first dance and realised that this was just what she was doing. And I realise where my innate ability to dance- which is something I’ve only discovered recently- comes from”
SELAELO SELOTA, is quick to pinpoint that his many live shows – now renowned for their combination of beauty and visceral energy – are providing an excellent vehicle to enable him to find that style and voice. “More and more as I perform live, the artist within has been coming forward and making his own statement. I’ve always found myself restricted in my mind, but when I am on stage and let go, there is someone who comes forward and that person has been inspiring me. He’s a very energetic dancer and he’s very passionate when he has to sing and could even put lyrics to all instrumental songs.
Words play an important role in this jazz artist’s life. Several songs on ENCHANTED GARDENS are enhanced with the intelligent use of lyrics and albums sleeve contains notes – penned by Selaelo himself- on each of the album’s tracks, bringing to life the moment in time, the stories, the people that inspired this exceptional recording. With ‘ENCHANTED GARDENS’, Selaelo’s reputation as amongst the foremost Afro – jazz artist working today is considerably enhanced and a slew of counting life shows to promote the album is likely to earn this gifted young man further acclaim.
The hugely talented musician has done a lot more than create successful albums for himself alone. Since the phenomenal success of JUDITH SEPHUMA’S debut album A CRY, A SMILE, A DANCE (Triple Platinum sales status of more than 160 000 units) which was arranged and produced by the maestro himself, Selaelo has taken producing one step further by repeating the magic on troubadour UMANJI’S latest album WANTOLOBELA and more recently with that of fellow jazz guitarist, SASHA SONNBICHLER whose debut album was released through BMG Africa’s Giant Steps label in November 2002.
SELAELO SELOTA, is both an academic and a passionate, professional performer. He is making a fresh and substantial contribution to the development of South African music and enjoys sharing his work and inspiration with the wildest possible audience. It should come as a no surprise now that in conjunction with Keynote Artist Development Selaelo has embarked the Selaelo Selota Artist Development Programme, made possible by various funders.
SELAELO SELOTA travelled to Canada on the 08th July 2003 to make his debut performance at the prestigious Nuits D’Afrique Festival where he shared the stage with artist like Lokua Kanza, Diblo Dibala, Oliver Mutukudzi and many more. He was awarded the Song Writer of the year in 2003 by the South African Recording Rights Association Limited (SARRAL) and for the first time in history, University of Cape Town conferred an Alumni Award on Selaelo Selota in the recognition for his Contribution to South African Music.
Selaelo Selota has just completed a Tour of North America and he was billed to perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April 2004 which was followed by a club tour of Ashford and Simpson’s Club Sugar Bar and Satalla in New York. He was also invited back to Montreal, Canada where he gave a sterling performance at Kola Note. Late in May he performed at the UCLA Jazz Festival in California, which was followed by a short tour of Zimbabwe and Zanzibar, Tanzania. He performed at the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) 2004.
In October 2004 the government of Limpopo Province in recognition of leaders in various fields conferred a Morula Award on Selaelo for his avid role in development in his hometown as well as his achievements in the music arena.
SELAELO SELOTA is also the Artist and Repertoire Director and shareholder in
C-Lota Records. He has just completed production on his 3rd Album entitled “STORIES LIVED & TOLD” which promises to inspire, excite and explore hidden emotions of all those forgotten moments in life which need to be highlighted once again. The album has so far sold more than
12 000 units.
2006 November SELAELO SELOTA released his new and fourth album THE AZANIAN SONGBOOK under his (new) recording company LIVE AT THE SHACK ENTERTAINMENT which will be focusing on capturing live performances in an audio and visual format.. This product is a well thought out, beautifully and mature album that captures the style he started off six years ago. Selota has grown impressively as a composer over the years. His songs cover a wide range, from sentimental ballads and hymns to classic dance tunes. The songs ranges from his sing along tune Ordinary Day which features his daughter Tebelelo to Nkatanga which is a Tsonga song featuring Paledi Malatjie.
SELAELO SELOTA recently went to perform in Mozambique on the 14th January 2007 where he gave a massive performance that left the crowd shouting for more. During the rainy days and sunny times alike, Selota has always pushed the boundaries and has gained the respect of South African jazz lovers countrywide. The new album is sure to extend Selota’s following to a new generations of fans. Live at The Shack Entertainment is now in a Joint Venture with BMG Records. This venture has released its first artist Malatji with an album called The First Prince produced by SELAELO SELOTA.
For publicity material, interviews and further updates regarding SELAELO SELOTA contact TANDISWA SELOTA at LIVE AT THE SHACK ENTERTAINMENT on Tel: +27 (0) 11 802 2334,Cell: +27 (0) 74 104 1129, Fax: +27 (0) 11 802 2334,
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Listen to Selaelo Selota music on the links below
MULTI INSTRUMENTALIST, COMPOSER, PRODUCER EXTRAORDINAIRE ARTIST
Born in 1949 in Bemoni in South Africa, Ismail Mohamed-Jan – better known as Pops Mohamed – may be South Africa’s most versatile musician. He first played the guitar and keyboard then turned to traditional music from various lands, especially South Africa. He plays ancient instruments like the thumb piano, kora and didgeridoo but also experiments with the newest technology, always in the service of music.
Pops Mohamed owes his artistic openness to his childhood in an Indian community near Johannesburg as also to his mongrel background, since his father was a half-Indian, half-Portuguese Muslim, and his mother half Xhosa, half Khoisan. His nickname Pops dates back to his childhood enthusiasm for the comic seaman Popeye.
Before turning to traditional sounds, he played the keyboard with eminent jazz musicians live and in the studio. The end of apartheid was for many of his colleagues a personal relief and a professional setback, since the public then rushed to hear pop-stars streaming in from abroad instead of their own musicians. Pops Mohamed countered by launching himself on an international career, which has since led to many tours. At the same time he took more interest in traditional music from all over the world. Fearing that it would vanish in the wake of techno, he wished to have it not only recorded but also suffused with modern sounds and rhythms to appeal to a wider audience. As he put it: ‘If people don´t understand where they come from, there is a hole in the soul.’
The most successful result has been the album How Far Have We Come, the first product of his long-lasting connection to a Khoisan (bushman) group in the east of Namibia. In the Kalahari waste he made recordings which he then processed with a computer and supplemented with tracks made by studio musicians in Johannesburg and London. In a similar project with the singer Samia from Bangladesh he accompanied old Bengali songs with not only traditional instruments but also keyboards and a drum-computer. He has produced other records with such various colleagues as the trumpeter Bruce Cassidy, formerly with the band Blood, Sweat & Tears, and the London Sound Collective.
On his world tours, Pops Mohamed often appears as a duo with the Jamaican singer and multi-instrumentalist Zena Edwards from London but also with other musicians such as his friends from the Kalahari.
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Listen to Pops Mohamed music on the links below
VOCALIST, PERCUSSIONIST, COMPOSER, PRODUCER EXTRAORDINAIRE ARTIST
Sello Galane is a vocalist and percussionist extraordinaire who was born in 1966 into a musical family. His father, Maeke, was a Kiba music and dance leader (malokwane) and his mother, Moaki, was a singer in the Lutheran Church. Sello grew up in Leboneng, Hammanskraal where he completed his elementary schooling. He received tertiary education at the University of Cape Town where he met other musicians like Judith Sephuma, Selaelo Selota and Magalane Phosokho, with whom he experimented in fusing kiba music into jazz.
After graduation in 1991, they went separate ways to pursue solo careers; Galane reversed the experiment by fusing jazz and pop into kiba to a point where the repertoire grew beyond the confines of a single tribal traditional music genre. He named it Free-Kiba; the tradition of music making and cultural communication of the Amandebele-a-Moletlane, the BaPedi akin to the Venda Tshikona. Galane relocated to his father‟s birth place, Ga-Mashashane in Limpopo province, where he met ordinary villa6ge Kiba performers who schooled him in the craft. Galane plays a family of drums: sekgokolo (father drum), kgalapedi (mother drum) and matikwane (twin children).
He has published numerous CDs and DVDs which he prefers to record live through his company Kgapana African Music Records (KAMR) and sell immediately to the audience after the shows. His music has also featured in prestigious national events.
Kiba, together with other indigenous African music genres have been included in the General Education and Training Arts and Culture curriculum since 2002. The notation was sorted partly by my coinage of concepts like aura phonics, aura phonology, and Afrophonia in my Doctoral studies. This solved the problem of the exclusion of the oral-aural system of encoding and decoding music and sound in general as critical elements of music literacy. The concepts of aura phonics, aura phonology, and Afrophonia have been recently included in the National Curriculum Statement of South African schools for Further Education and Training Music content since 2012.
Galane campaigned to get African music notation system to be coded into South Africa‟s education curriculum. (Galane, 2015) elaborates that it was auctioned through the inclusion of the African Music principles in the National Curriculum statement of Arts Education in South Africa since 2001.
Galane obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Pretoria on a longitudinal study of the legendary malombo guitarist Philip Tabane whom he has successfully campaigned for his awarding of an honorary doctorate by the University of Venda.
Credit goes to: L. L. Nawa.
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SINGER ,SONGWRITER AND PRODUCER
Mbulelo Fata (33) widely known as Mbu Soul is a singer, songwriter,
and producer. His sound is modern day Futurist Afro-pop that
transcends all borders.
His versatile vocal ability whose infuses Soul Music, Hip-Hop,
Bubblegum with Jazz and Blues.
“I am a young dude inspired by the school. Back then when lyrics
would change lives, whether you are singing about love, the struggle
or the future. My music is life changing,” says Mbu Soul.
Born and raised in Mdantsane Township, South Africa, his growing
brand has seen him perform across the country.
Mbu Soul uses his home language of isiXhosa and touches even those
who cannot hear a word of his native tongue.
His musical training at the University of Cape Town heightened his gift. His precision to detail and uniqueness has been given the thumbs
up by late music icon Shaluza Max, as well as world recognised
producer, Vuyo Manyike.
Mbu Soul has collaborated and written music for the likes of young
artist Sjava, Black Diamond and Mr. Luu and Msk.
His latest singles Akekho featuring HD and Halo Yagami and
produced by Ndu Browns (Black Diamond) have earned him the
imprint of being labeled one of South Africa’s young upcoming
leaders of the new school music.
Listen to Mbu Soul music on the links below