Under Madiba Skies

Under Madiba Skies

It always seems impossible, until it is done.

8 musicians come together to interpret the words of Nelson Mandela's inaugural speech in a special performance where many influences and cultures come together on stage.

French band Gran Kino invited Manelis (DBN), Ayanda Nhlangothi (JHB), Jitsvinger (CPT) and Burni Aman (CPT) to share their vision of South Africa today.

Several songs were born through meetings between the musicians in South Africa and France. Whether from Durban, rapping in Zulu, from Johannesburg singing with a traditional sweetness or from Cape Town rapping in Afrikaans or in English, the vision is mutual: coming together on one stage, different languages, visions and ideas and, above all, an endless artistic richness.  The music weaves itself together with traditional song, rock, hip hop and acoustic piano/voice duets and show the image of their performers: colorful and carrying out values of peace and openness to the world.

Mandela’s 1994 speech
20 years after the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president, his inaugural speech remains relevant. Freedom, future, reconciliation and renewal, optimistic words, but also words with a strong symbolic value that is highlighted through the composed music. The artists involved talk about every day live, which might not always be like Mandela envisioned in his 1994 speech.

They see the speech as a prophecy and feel honored to bring his word all over the world. It is also an opportunity to show the world what South Africa has to offer after years of cultural boycott. 

End of 2013 Under Madiba Skies rounded up a very successful tour through France with 10 performances throughout the country. The band performed at festivals such as Festival Generiq (Mulhouse, Dijon & Besancon) and the Worldstock Festival ( Le Bouffe du Nord – Paris).

Since this time there has been interest from Japan, Canada, DRC, South Africa, Chile and France for a tour. Needless to say that this project will continue to travel the world.

Some audience responses:
“I wanted to congratulate you, to thank you, to tell you how much this moment had touched me. My emotions about your performance were so strong, I was not able to do anything the days following your concert.”

“It is this simple message I want to convey to you: through your involvement with a bit of soul, Madiba was in Macon, and the permanence of the soul softens the pain caused by the sad news of his passing. For me, as for many Madiba remains alive.”

“It was an evening of great splendor and generosity…….Your concert was like a bomb of talent: energy, originality, crossroads of music and styles. A true rainbow of musicians and rhythms!”

Under Madiba Skies released a 4-track EP in 2013 with their first single titled "Brand New Day", you can listen to it here: The full EP can purchased online or at the performances. At the performances the EP will come with a booklet with the lyrics of the songs both in their original language and translated in French or English. There are plans to work on a full album in 2014.    

Media & Radio
The first Under Madiba Skies single “Brand New Day” got playlisted on RFI (Radio France International) and other French radio stations.  The songs was also playlisted on radio stations in Belgium, Germany, Greece, Lebanon, Poland, Italy, Spain and Hong Kong. We conducted several radio interviews with these stations, under which 3 interviews on RFI.

Also various French and South African newspapers, magazines and blogs wrote reviews and articles about Under Madiba Skies.

The performers
Gran Kino
The French band GRAN KINO consists of 4 members who are globetrotters. Rock, electro, hip hop, traditional music, the band has decided not to limit their music to a particular kind.   

Ayanda Nhlangothi
AYANDA NHLANGOTHI is a singer, composer, producer social activist, actress and teacher. Ayanda produces music that reveals the resilient spirit of the African youth. Ayanda can be described as one of South Africa's most versatile upcoming artists.  

MANELIS is a rap artist from Durban. One of the defining artists in this cities rap development from its beginning in the mid 90's. Manelis draws inspiration from old African flavors. He speaks of the African urban experience on soulful and sometimes experimental instrumental backdrops.   

Burni Aman
BURNI AMAN is a hip hop/spoken word artist from Cape Town. A former member of the all-female hip hop crew Godessa. In 2009 she nominated for a Hype Award as only female in the category best lyricist.  

JISTVINGER is an award winning Afrikaans hip hop artist, guitarist and performance poet who combines poetry, self-composed music and theatre. Jitsvinger's central focus is to promote and celebrate heritage and culture through popularizing vernacular through poetry, theatre and music.  

Under Madiba Skies online
Twitter: @umskies

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