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Brand new to the music scene in the City of Gold, Kamili’s jazzy, soulful sound is garnering a steady following. They chat to us about their music.
Soulful saxophone and infectious beats hang in the air around 37 Panther Street in Kensington, Johannesburg. That’s home base for a local fusion band called Kamili.
The band, led by Danny Mashinkila Jr, Hlumelo Mquqo, Nika Boje Phala, Tshegofatso Matlou and Kabo Wigget, gets its name from the Swahili word meaning “complete”. Although the band is brand new to the Jo’burg music scene, Kamili's fresh sound and politically charged lyrics have earned them quite a following. Kamili’s Facebook page already has nearly 600 likes.
Kamili say that their goal is to make music that is meaningful and enjoyable. “There’s a lot of political messages in our music,” said band member Danny Mashinkila Jr, “but we don’t want to force it on people.”
Their songs address a wide range of issues affecting South Africa, from poverty in the song Poor Man’s Dream to cultural tolerance in Freedom [Stop Xenophobia].
Kamili’s unique sound comes from a mixture of musical genres. Hip-hop beats blend seamlessly with jazzy saxophone solos and R&B inspired vocals. Since their music doesn’t fit into traditional categories, the members of Kamili created their own genre; they call it NEE (Native Eclectic Evolution).
Kamili launched their repertoire at La Musa Restaurant in Maboneng back in April and recently performed at Tijuca Restaurant in Bruma. They are poised for the launch of their first studio album later this year. “I like to say that the sky’s not the limit,” said Mashinkila, “we’re going to actually surpass the sky."