The diverse and always exciting, African Rhythm is heading to the Republic of Mieliepop Festival.
African Rhythm is not only a band but also has members who dance, choreograph and design clothing. How do you successfully blend these other two mediums with the band’s music?
We have been friends for the past 15 years, we started as a dance crew and as time went by we realized the importance of looking different and that’s when the fashion part came in. When you have cool moves and looks good, you need music, and the music part came in. It’s easy to blend in the fashion and dance into our music because of our common desire to be creative and because of what inspires us.
Your band is quite large and yet seems to function well with 11 members. How have you managed this?
We come from a small township of Munsielle in Krugersdorp, we know each other very well and share [the] same ambitions. We have been staying together [in] the same house in Pretoria for the past two years and that has strengthened our friendship and commitment to make African Rhythm work. We are a family.
How has moving to Pretoria from Krugersdorp affected the band’s music and creativity?
When we moved from Krugersdorp to Pretoria we knew that we will grow as band and individually. We had to defy our parents and if you go against the wishes of your parents, you better make it work. Now they have accepted and support our journey. Music is what we do full time and staying together in the same house has brought so much growth.
The band recently had its first performance outside of Gauteng. What was that experience like?
The experience was amazing. Thanks to our new Manager Molatelo Eric Thoka and ConcertsSA for sponsoring the whole tour. We didn’t knew how people will react to our music and it was a bit daunting, but music proved to be a universal language that goes against cultural and racial boundaries. You know you have done well when audience screams “We want more!”
You’ve been together for about seven years. How has your music changed between now and when you first got together?
When we first got together we used to do other musicians songs, but now the focus is on creating our own music. We now understand our sound and also acknowledge the fact that we are different and we don’t have to try be like any other musicians but ourselves.
What are you most looking forward to at Mieliepop?
It will be our first time performing in Mpumalanga and we are excited that’s this will be at Mieliepop. We are looking forward to meeting new audience, other artists that will be performing and experiencing this amazing festival.
What can fans expect from your performance at Mieliepop?
We play real instruments and we play them well. Fans should look forward to a bunch of young people on stage with a soulful, youthful and unique sound. Different from the usual run of the mill rappers who dominate the music scene in South Africa.