Okayafrica premieres South African Roots Electro trio Johnny Cradle's video for "uLate" from Stephanie O'Connor and Suede.
Johnny Cradle are a Johannesburg-based outfit founded by songwriter/vocalist/multi-fiddle instrumentalist and producer Sakie in 2006 in the Eastern Cape. Now joined by guitarist Chris and "beat-bot" Sisonke, the trio make a futuristic roots music they've termed "Roots Electro." According to Sakie, "it’s major bass heavy like what roots reggae used to be. The drums are electronic based but I focus them on that heavy 90s rap aesthetic of California. The synths are electronic, my rhodes piano’s electronic, and even though my vocals are of an unschooled Xhosa harmonic texture the sing-rap thing is digital in its approach."
Though they've been quiet recently, the band is set to release eight new tracks throughout the rest of the year. First up is "uLate," a silky smooth blend of dub and bass topped with easy breezy delivery. "'uLate' means you’re late in our Xhosa/ English everyday way of speaking," Sakie explained. "It’s the journey of the DIY artist person of this day. The I couldn’t afford tertiary education but have made a career in illustration with work for all the top banks and companies in the country. The I do it from my own pocket and knowledge write your music, play it, record it, shoot it, edit it and deliver it fuck ‘em all do it attitude." The sharp, monochromatic video shot by Stephanie O'Connor and directed by Suede, which we're excited to premiere here today, places the Johnny Cradle frontman on a stroll through JHB. "We shot in downtown Jo’burg because that is where everything meets," Sakie told us. "Hardworking people come from all over the Africa townships, rural areas and high up suburbia to grind here. It’s the one place where everyone gets a chance to live their best life in my opinion." Watch the "uLate" video below and look out for seven more tracks plus some videos to drop from Johnny Cradle later this year. The trio are set to begin playing in September around Joburg before spreading to other cities.