In a country where musical tastes are as diverse and complex as its social structure, South Africa's Freshlyground has been able to transcend race, religion and musical interests by creating a unique style of their own. Each of the seven members of the band are different, but the fact they all ultimately feel African and love music pulled them together. They combine traditional pop instruments such as bass, keys and guitar with the mbira, a traditional African "thumb piano." Plus, they spice up their stage performance with traditional, loosely-choreographed African dance routines.
Their infectious sound is also resonating in Europe. The group is nominated for Best African Act at the MTV Europe Video Music Awards that will be held in Denmark next week. Vote for them to win here .
Lead singer and songwriter Zolani comes from a small town in the Eastern Cape. She sings in either Xhosa or English about the challenges facing modern-day South Africa. Even though I don't understand Xhosa, I can really sense Zolani's emotions through the music and her delivery. Their most recent album "Nomvula" (After The Rain) is a passionate collection of catchy songs ("Doo Be Doo") and heartfelt ballads, including the phenomenal, "I'd Like." Buy the CD at this South African online store. [This post was written in support of Raising Malawi. Donate today.]