Bongeziwe Mabandla’s subtly powerful Xhosa language songs thread together the traditional sounds of his Eastern Cape background with urban grooves and contemporary folk, with his acoustic guitar playing and plaintive yet soulful voice carrying individual stories of the search for freedom, love and identity.
His 2012 debut album, Umliloâ, won him praise and two South African Music Awards nominations but it took another five years and, as he says, “some growing up to do”, before he felt ready to record his second, Mangaliso. Produced by guitarist and keyboardist Tiago Correia, it further explores the themes of spirituality and black urban identity to a soundtrack of modern beat-heavy grooves. It’s been a breakthrough that’s won him best album and best video awards and taken him on tour to Australia, Europe, Asia and Canada.
Bongeziwe Mabandla - vocals, guitar
Tiago Correia - keyboards, guitar
Robin Brink - drums