Uhuru, signed under Kalawa Jazmee is currently dominating the music scenes on radio and television with their fresh new sounds. Their latest single ‘Y tjukutja’ meaning shake yourself in ‘Pretorian Slang’ is currently topping the local charts.
The group includes Maphorisa (Themba Sekowe), Mapiano (Nqobile Mahlanu), DJ Clap (Sihle Dlalisisa) and Xeli (Xelimpilo Simelane) have been generating big hits for big names such as DJ Zinhle, Dr Malinga, L’vovo and Professor. These boys have raised the bars in the industry.
Indulging in their history as a group and where it all began, bubbly and outspoken Mapiano tells us their story.
“Uhuru is not really a new group. Before signing into Kalawa, we were friends pushing contemporary African jazz. Back then it was just me, Maphorisa and Xeli.
“The three of us originate from Soshanguwe in Pretoria. We met Clap in Kalawa and we all formed a group called Uhuru,” Mapiano says.
The boys individually had a dream of signing into Kalawa, their different musical talent fused as one with the desire of creating an exclusive sound.
Maphorisa and DJ Clap are known as the DJs and producers. Mapiano is a pianist whilst Xeli is the vocalist.
The quartet refuses to give their sound a niche as they believe they are versatile offering a variety of sounds.
“We can sing, rap, touch on gospel as well appear as a dance music group,” DJ Clap says.
Music is what keeps these four going. Although their sound is liked by many they believe they have not arrived in the industry yet.
“We always produce, search for different styles of making music and trying to stay on top of our game. We live and eat music but we are not where we want to be yet, we are not musically free. We are still under construction. We want to reach an audience beyond Africa with a live performance,” Maphorisa calmly says.
As a group of four guys, they say conflict amongst them is rare because they have been friends for 10 years.
“We have reached a level of mutual understanding in business. Growing under popular music groups, we have seen from them where they fall short on working as a team and learn from their mistakes. We are no strangers to each other and it’s easier to reprimand one another."