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Listen to Simmy’s New Album ‘Tugela Fairy (Made of Stars)’

In her sophomore album 'Tugela Fairy (Made of Stars)', South African artist Simmy expands on the soulful Afro-pop and Afro-house sound that has become the signature sound of El World Music.

South African vocalist Simmy has released the second installment of her Tugela Fairy album series, Tugela Fairy (Made of Stars).

The 16-track album includes the previously released singles, "Ngihamba Nawe" and "Emakhaya."

For her sophomore, Simmy taps guests outside her El World Music labelmates, enlisting the likes of Afro-soul songstress Ami Faku, Afro-house producers/deejays Black Motion, Da Capo and maskandi heavy weight Khuzani.


With Tugela Fairy (Made of Stars), the talented singer-songwriter continues to tell love stories, mostly detailing the exciting moments and some of the hardships that come with the emotion and being in a relationship, while in other songs she sings songs of encouragement.

The album is laced with nostalgia; references and interpolations of old house, maskandi, mbaqanga, Afro-pop and kwaito. Funk song melodies and lyrics can be heard throughout, something she did in her 2018 debut album as well.

"I love sampling so much. I always take songs that I grew up hearing and work them into my music," she expressed in the album's liner notes on Apple Music.

While some of the songs were recorded in the last two years, on Made of Stars, Simmy expands on the soulful Afro-pop and Afro-house sound that has since become the signature sound of El World Music.

Her soft enchanting voice sounds like magic on top of the productions provided by Sun-El Musician, Black Motion, Da Capo, Claudio, Dr Moruti and more.

Simmy also has a production credit on the album's intro. "It just made sense for the album to start like a fairytale or Disney movie," she told Apple Music.

Stream Tugela Fairy (Made of Stars) on Apple Music and Spotify.



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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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