The popularity of the first volume of Mzansi Reggae Sistas in drawing attention to the presence of women in Reggae required a follow up. Mzansi Reggae Sistas Volume II is a compilation of the female protagonists active in the Reggae Dancehall scene. Its a celebration of the sistas highlighting the contribution they make in the genre and provides a soundtrack for woman’s month and beyond.
The compilation opens up with the wailing sounds of Miz Dee as she laces over the Rock Steady Riddim produced by Smart Kids Records over in Jamaica. It feels like the Miz immersed herself in the riddim for days on end, to better understand and feel the melody and then the lyrics flowed from deep within and got delivered in what is arguably Miz Dee’s best vocalization to date. Mis Dee got her game on, and she definitely is a Survivor.
Empress Naphtali on the other hand channels the energies and the vybz of Dezaire. If you love the type of music Deziare makes, then you will surely appreciate this tune from the Empress who is fairly new to the scene. The song, Righteousness, is produced by one of South Africa’s finest and maddest Producer/Singer/Songwriter, Skeleton Da Scientist, of RebelStone Muzik Lab based in Cape Town.
Buya Africa is Sista Roots Tafari [with Blaq Tone on production] offering in this compilation as she remains firm and consistent in her convictions about identity, cultural awareness and African pride. She sings: The Funny thing is I cannot speak the language of my ancestors/ yet i master the language of the oppressor / downpresser man.
Ghetto Queen is one Rasta Wombman who practices what she sings about. She is quite involved, especially with the youth, in her community. She uses her music to motivate and uplift the youth in the ghetto where she reside. Africa is a track that comes from her debut album I Believe produced by Cape Town’s Fokus Empire Records.
Sista Phumi Maduna is a soldier from the Lucky Dube camp, who has gone solo since the passing of her mentor. She has released two Albums [Africa Unite (Tribte to Lucky Dube) and Victory] this year alone. Heard Him Cry is a haunting song about an abandoned little child under the bridge. She hears him cry and takes him home with her to care of him. Such is the nature and spirit of Sista Phumi Maduna.
Ms Mary Ann Brown, or simply, MaBrown dedicates this song to her two Sons. The lovely Caribbean vyb complements the message of this feel good song well. She worked with Cape Town’s La Soul Studio’s on production and video shoot. The video, shot in Hout Bay, Cape Town, ‘tells the love story of a mother to her two sons.’
We featured Empress Tallowah on MzansiReggae Sistas Vol I with the song, Ungasabi [Do not be afraid] to look within for inner strength. In volume II she explores further this inspirational message with the song Amandla [Inner Power]. Empress Tallowah is the founder of Tallowah Productions which focuses on self empowerment programme called Accept Your Greatness. Her music speaks to that, all her music is about self empowerment, self reliance and accepting our greatness. “My life purpose is to spread this message through music, facilitating, speaking.” – Empress Tallowah.
Vudu YaKwantu a relative new comer to the scene, but not in underground live music scene of South Africa’s head quarters of Reggae and Dancehall, Yeoville. The track featured here, Imali, is reminiscent of the poetry scene of Johannesburg and Yeoville smokey clubs. Her dreamy rendition of this tune Imali [Money] could very well coin and cement the term Afro Reggae Soul.
Faya Uman packs a punch in this compilation. She goes in hard, showcasing her versatility and lyrical flow. The ingenious move of collaborating with 80’s sensation, Kamazu was lost to many. The single has been on rotation and got playlisted at YFM’s RaggAttack. Amasoja is a morden day Kasi war cry, calling on warriors to take a stand, not a back seat. ‘Everything is Bless ngoba s’phete U Jah’
Assian Black is back on the compilation riding on Tyresse Riddim produced Blackol Records Production. The Cape Town based songstress is always featured on the Blackol Productions and most times as the only female representing. Here she renders a feminine touch to the Tyresse Riddim with a tune called Do I .
Miss Independent is probably the youngest sista represented in this compilation on another Blackol Records Production. She is also consistent in her message of praising Jah. Last year she had a massive tune in collaboration with Fire Flames called Jah lead the way. The talented young lady is going to be a force to be reckoned with once she had garnered enough experience and a solid management team behind her.
We round it up with the smooth jazzy sounds of Bella Velaphi doing it live at the One Blood Festival in Port Elizabeth. A very gifted songstress with a strong jazz background but can lace her vocal prowess on any sound beat or riddim. Here she performs with one of South Africa’s finest and oldest reggae band, Azania Band. She also provided backing vocals for IQula who was the headline act at the Festival.
For our bonus track, we bring our distant relative on board and leave you with the naughty playful lyrical sounds of Mpress D’vine on a hip hop tip.
We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed compiling it. Take a listen and be blessed with the sounds of Mzansi Reggae, compliments of the Sistas.
Miz Dee – Survivor
Empress Naphtali – Righteousness
Sista Roots Tafari – Buya Africa
Ghetto Queen – Africa
Sista Phumi Maduna – Heard Him Cry
MaBrown – My Sons
Empress Tallowah – Amandla
Vudu Ya Kwantu – Imali
Faya Uman – Amasoja
Assian Black – Do I
Miss Independent – Give Thanks
Bella Velaphi – Superstar [Live at One Blood Festival]
Mpress D’vine – Ungasoli