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Video: South African Shangaan Gets A BOOST

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Located on the outskirts of Johannesburg, the South Western Township AKA Soweto is known to outsiders as the location of the Soweto Uprising of the 70s. Nowadays however, Soweto’s musical scene is beginning to surpass the area's previous political reputation through the birth of musical styles such as Kwaito in the 90s, and more recently, Shangaan electro.

Cell phone repair shop owner turned musician and record label guru, Richard "Nozinja" Mthethwa, pioneered Shangaan electro in 2005 by re-working and speeding up the tempo of traditional Shangaan music. Unlike the original sound of Shangaan that ran at around 110 BPM, with the help of synthesizers, MIDI keyboards and marimba rhythms, Shangaan electro beats hit the 180 BPM mark and create an infectious new wave sound that’s intensely quick, but surprisingly easy on the ears. These hyperactive pulsating rhythms are paired with some hip action and pantsula-inspired moves called the Xibelani dance (check the videos above and below). We can't wait to hear more from Nozinja’s label, Honest Jon’s Records.

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News Brief

Michael Kiwanuka Wins Highly Coveted 2020 Mercury Prize

The British-Ugandan artist proves that staying true to yourself will get you further than you can imagine.

British-Ugandan musician Michael Kiwanuka has gone on to win the 2020 Mercury Prize at this year's virtual awards ceremony.

The win was assigned to Kiwanuka's 2019 album KIWANUKA, produced by Danger Mouse and Inflo. KIWANUKA, Michael's third full-length so far, seems to be the artists' most personal one yet.

In his own words, Kiwanuka told New Statesman, "I thought, what better way to say that you're comfortable with who you are than by using just your name? KIWANUKA goes against fame, it goes against success. It's not in the pocket, it's not a smooth rock'n'roll name that's up in lights. It can be clumsy, if you haven't seen it before."

Well, we are certainly grateful for the singer's personal evolution as it has landed him top honors in the industry, as well as, amongst his die hard fans.

The artist said of his win, "I don't even know what to say - I'm speechless. This is amazing...I don't even have any words. This is ridiculous, it's crazy! I'm so happy. Third time's a charm. It's blown my mind. I'm over the moon, I'm so excited - this is for art, for music, for albums. This is the only thing I've ever wanted to do so to win a Mercury is a dream come true. I'm so happy. Music and art means so much to me and this is an award that celebrates that so I'm over the moon."

Watch Michael Kiwanuka's performance of "You Ain't The Problem" off of his Mercury Prize winning album "KIWANUKA" here.

Mercury Prize 2020 Winner | Michael Kiwanuka - You Ain't The Problem (Later... With Jools Holland) www.youtube.com

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