Finally, after years of struggle to produce another South African Grammy award group contender, the country’s hope has been increased since The Soil landed in the music industry’s spotlight to share the home brewed vocals with the world.
The award-winning acapella’s trio from Soweto – made up of Buhlebendalo Mda aka Buhle, Luphindo “Master P” Ngxanga and Ntsika Fana Ngxanga aka Da FanArtistc – has been described as Mzansi’s 21st century’s answer to their countrymen Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
With the group‘s latest chart-topping album, Nostalgic Moments, their full-bodied kasi soul sound and flawless harmonies that has touched many souls worldwide, and bookings coming from all corners of the universe, it is quite tempting to add that the Ngxanga brothers and mother-of-one Buhle are in the league of their own.
Speaking of the latest album, its first single – Susan, featuring hip hop superstar Khuli Chana – has been turned into a national punch line on various radio stations and townships.
After a month away from home, the band recently returned from a UK tour, and I caught up with Master P – the group’s human beatbox who considers himself the friendliest and warmest member – to chat about the tour, album and future plan.
Here is how the chat with the ever so cheerful Luphindo went:
Welcome back to SA! Did you miss home while performing in the UK for weeks?
MASTER P: A lot! It’s cold that side…
What did you miss the most about South Africa?
MASTER P: Ah the food man (laughs)…
Your last gig in England was in Newscastle, how was the overhaul experience of UK sold out venues?
MASTER P: It was very remarkable, it was awesome and overwhelming. We only find out that there is more love out there, people know more about The Soil and we’re so grateful, God is good all the time. It’s very chilled man. It’s grateful for such a number, full house, it’s proper.
No doubt that you guys are on top of your game right now, take us back to The Soil‘s earlier dreams when you first started?
MASTER P: The dream was actually what is happening right now. Because we had the vision when we started this [journey]. We said we want to conquer the world; we want to feature Ladysmith Black Mambazo; we had the same vision and it’s so awesome because everything is happening the way we planned it ten years back.
Speaking of Grammy award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo, are Grammy awards on The Soil’s target list?
MASTER P: Indeed. Even the Grammys are part of the vision, part of the plan, everything (giggles).
How long should we wait for The Soil to deliver the first Grammy home – 2 or 3 years, perhaps?
MASTER P: (Laughs)…We wouldn’t know. The thing is we have just submitted for the Grammys, so we’ll hear from them you know. We hope everything goes very well because this is part of the plan.
Let’s talk Susan and Nostalgic Moments. Great collaboration with Khuli Chana, what made Khuli the perfect choice for the song?
MASTER P: We sat down with the guys and said we need someone who is very true and raw to his craft. We couldn’t have chosen the Motswako originator nje [just like that], you know, he is the only guy who is still raw. We feel like he is still raw and relevant and it helps coming to directing issues… so we wanted something raw and very South African to keep it original.
What is the story behind the title, Nostalgic Moments?
MASTER P: Basically, when we wanted to conceptualise, we were thinking of the 1960s, your Sophiatown and we were thinking if mom Mariam Makheba was still alive in 2014, how would she feel like if she was 21 in 2014… and all the greats. So we fused those sounds of the 1960s and Sophiatown to make it the 2014 style.
How many album units have you sold so far?
MASTER P: Last week we were told that we are sitting on 26 000 units. We have already gone gold already.
One last question: Because you will never with groups, can you make a promise that you won’t split up?
Ah we will never brake up. We have the system already.