Lucky Shabangu and his brother Nhlanhla claimed in the early 2000s that they had left behind their lives of theft, drugs, womanising and violence, and turned to the Lord.
The album title is apparently a reference to the two most widely spoken languages in Africa, English and French, the combination of two colonialisms, so to speak, into something new: Kulture Noir (Black Culture).
The album is a 12-track journey that blends the raw traditional sounds of her childhood in rural Eastern Cape with more international neo-soul and jazz sounds.
“All my children are dependent on me, especially those at tertiary level,” he said.
He added: “I don’t think denying me bail would do justice to my children.” However, the charges against them were provisionally withdrawn.
Dana’s versatile voice recalls not only that to which she is most often compared, Miriam Makeba, but also a host of others – Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu (“Mayine”), Bjork (“Ingoma ka Maiane”), Cat Power, even Inge Beckmann. Few local musicians, with the exception of 70s era Hugh Masekela, have had the balls to explore the complex grooves of Afrobeat.
Comparisons in this case are largely futile, however. Dana pays tribute to one of her heroes, and arguably Africa’s greatest musical force, Fela Anikulapo Kuti – but instead of being content to merely imitate, she manages to mould the sound to suit her own ends.
While most singers would be content to resort to drum machines and studio gimmicks, Dana’s talent as a songwriter, producer and designer have seen her maintain tight control over her work.
On Kulture Noir she makes use of an array of top session musos, drawing on the expertise of three different producers: her usual right hand man Thapelo Khomo (from Stimela), as well as Mozambiquan Moreira Chonguica and Nigerian “Afro-Juju” guitarist Kunle Ayo.
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“Moving forward, Simphiwe Dana will be taking legal action against Ntsiki Mazwai for her tweets, as they may cause irreparable reputational damage to her personal brand and that of other brands that are in partnership with Ms Dana.