Title: Thando Riddim
Artists: Various Artists
Produced by: King David & Nature Vybz
Label: Roots & Kulcha Entertainment | Legion 16 Records
Release: March 2017
Thando Riddim was produced by King David And Nature Vybz for Roots and Kulcha Entertainment. KING DAVID is one of the founders of Rasta At Work, a legendary Roots Reggae Band from KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. He is also the bass player of the band. NATURE VYBZ, on the other hand is a musical youth also from Durban who doubles up as a Selecta for the Durban’s champion sound HOTT WAXX FAMILY. A Sound engineer by profession, he put in a lot of effort into this riddim that he calls his first project of this magnitude.
The two worlds collide on this project to produce a wicked riddim ever to come out of Durban. This is what happens when the older generation passes on musical knowledge and wisdom to the younger generation. This is what happens when the music and the melodies dictate the terms of engagement. This is what happens when digital meets analogue. This is here is the bridge.
It must be the rolling hills and valleys of KZN that give such inspiration and fuels the creative fire to many an artist that come out of KZN. Even though Gqom! is the official soundtrack of Durban, its Reggae that soothes the soul once the dust settles. The rhythm has a lazy type of feel characterised by heavy bassline sparsed out evenly, setting the tone for vocal delivery.
And the first to deliver is King Shaft who hails from Bush Buck Rigde in Mpumalnga. He worked with Rastas At Work before his career in film took him Gauteng while working on Uzalo as a director in Durban. You have never heard Bayblon being Chanted down is such a melodic and inviting manner. Like sending someone to hell and actually making him look forward to the trip.
Rastas At Work [RAW] then follows to offer Thanks and Praises. This is the band behind the riddim, having played live instrumentals in the making of this riddim. An awe-inspiring feat, considering that today riddims are produced over night in these digital times we live in. RAW put in time and raw passion into this making the most enjoyable listen in a long long while. Rastas at Work are veterans known to all in Durban and the whole of KZN. The band lead singer LOVE-I (Michael Mhcunu) has been with the band for the past 7 years. He is from KwaGcolosi near Inanda in Durban.
Don Franco Tafari steps in to remind one and all to put Jah First. A perfect riddim for one like Don Franco who is a staunch supporter of good old Roots Reggae Music. This conscious riddim could have have come at the right time for him as he completly murders it.
Empress Authority, real name Tracy Delisile Shozi, is from Umkomaas KZN. In 2008 she joined Word Sound And Power, one of the biggest reggae band in Durban, as a lead singer. Her journey in reggae music and Rasta life has been gratifying and rounding, evidenced in her song Land and Sea. She transports you over the land and sea with such ease in her beautiful melodic voice.
It is Luwe Da Lion who brings in the heat and leaves an indelible impression as he waxes lyrically about Reggae Music on the track titled Play. He is a songwriter from Umlazi, Durban. This is his first Reggae Riddim that he’s been featured on. He is currently working on a new E.P which will be released in June 2017, definitely the one to look out for.
Skeleton ‘Hero to Zero’ Blazer delivers in what has now become his signature style. You can recognise his matured vocal delivery that blends into the riddim effortlessly. And the message can’t be much relevant than it is now, Xenophobia has plagued our country.
If Luwe Da Lion brought in the heat, then Cayeh [Khayelihle Ngubane] cools you down with real vibes and takes you on some loving vibes as he sentimetalises about uThando [Love], the riddim title. Cayeh is from eMsinga in KZN. He is a member of a theatre troupe that has been touring around UK performing Zulu Traditional music and dance. He was invited by King David to do a Zulu love song on the Riddim with Crista Bella backing him. This was his first experience with Reggae but it came out beautifully and he was the first to record on this Riddim and he closes it superbly.
This is a riddim that we did not know that we were waiting for, but waiting we have. Durban is where music and talent is cultivated. It has the most concentration of Live Reggae Bands in the whole of South Africa. The music that comes out from Durban is pure, authentic, raw and wholesome. It goes straight to the heart on first impact. Listen for yourselves when it comes out.
Thando Riddim will soon be available for download on all digital platform in March.
King Shaft – Chant Dem Down
Rastas @ Work – Give Thanks & Praises
Don Franco Tafari – Jah First
Empress Authority – Land and Sea
Luwe Da Lion – Play
Emperor Blazer – Xenophobia
Cayeh – Uthando