Powerhouse jazz vocalist Asanda Mqiki celebrates debut solo album with an SA and Mozambique tour
Cape Town, 23 January 2018 – The long awaited solo album from jazz chanteuse Asanda Mqiki is finally a reality and will be recorded live in her hometown of Port Elizabeth, on Friday, 2 February 2018. The multi-award-winning entertainer will also be launching a much anticipated South African and Mozambique tour to celebrate the occasion, presented by Arte Viva Management and Concerts SA.
Mqiki has a larger than life personality, an even bigger heart and “an insane amount of control over her notes”. From ballads to funky soul-jazz, her music vibrates with visceral emotion, which combined with her spontaneity and explosive musical talent, attracts a growing and ardent following. Tracking her career through her time as the lead singer for the band Take Note, regular guest appearances with The Soil (most notably the song ‘Lizzy’), and performances with the likes of the legendary Sibongile Khumalo, Freshlyground, Khaya Mahlangu, Bongeziwe Mabandla, Putuma Tiso & Berita, Asanda Mqiki comes of age with this album recording.
Those who have seen a live performance know the passion, energy and fun she brings to the stage. Now backed by an exceptionally talented line-up, Mqiki has chosen to capture this for her first album and is eager for her fans to be a part of this exciting new chapter. The live album recording will take place at The Savoy theatre in Port Elizabeth on Friday, 2 February, and fans both old and new are invited to secure tickets soonest and be a part of history. The album – entitled ‘Nobakithi’ – will be released by early April, digitally and on CD, and pre-sales will start from the concert.
The PE performance kicks off a Concerts SA supported tour that will see Mqiki and her band take the musical ‘magic’ all the way to Mozambique, where they will play at the Centro Cultural Franco-Moçambicano on Wednesday, 7 February and Uptown Café on Thursday, 8 February. Returning to SA, they play on Friday, 9 February at His & Hers Jams at the Eyethu Lifestyle Centre in Soweto, followed by two shows in Durban, on Saturday, 10 February at late-night venue The Chairman, and on Sunday, 11 February at the afternoon jazz session at the BAT Centre. The following weekend, they travel up to East London for a performance at the Fort Hare Music Department on Friday, 16 February, and end the tour with a show at the Steve Biko Centre in King William’s Town on Saturday, 17 February. Full tour dates and venues below.
Asanda will be performing with her full band, featuring Thoba Goba on drums, Grant Allison on bass, Mthokozisi Mabuza on keys, Qaqambile Qingana on second keys, Kamva Goba on percussion and Joash Soobramoney on alto saxophone.
Asanda Mqiki’s tour is supported by Concerts SA through the Music Mobility Fund, a funding mechanism which offers opportunities for South African musicians to undertake live music tours. Project manager Violet Maila says: “We are proud to support the regional tour of a musical talent like Asanda Mqiki, who carries on the rich tradition of jazz storytelling that is part of the fabric of the South African journey. We are confident audiences across SA and Mozambique will be moved by her uniquely soulful voice accompanied by her sextet of PE young jazz cats.”
The Album Explained
Sharing some of the insights behind this album, Mqiki explained why it has taken this long to record: “I’ve been performing a lot with different bands, but the main reason is because I’ve been trying to find my sound. I can’t necessarily say that I’ve found my perfect sound yet because of all the various musical influences I have, but the path that I’m on is one that I’m excited about. I can say that I have found the perfect voice which is also part of finding the right sound and with that voice I am ready to re-introduce myself to the audience on this album and this tour.”
As to the type of sound we can expect, the singer says: “This always such a difficult question for me to answer, but as much it will be a variety of the musical influences that have infused my writing and singing, it will be “jazz to make you happy” and music that touches your heart.”
On the album title, she remarks: “This album will be called Nobakithi which is a dedication to my mother. Nobakithi is my mom’s favourite song and the first time I performed it for my family they loved it, and that moment felt like it was a blessing for the song, because when I finally decided to introduce the song to an audience, they loved it. That feeling and experience has shaped my career ever since.”
The album and the ensuing tour will showcase Mqiki’s signature musical style, which brings together jazz, funk and soul, with influences from R&B to the strong choral tradition of the Eastern Cape. Listeners can look forward to hearing fan favourites such as Squeeze Me and Caramello, some new ballads, and a specially dedicated song which comes out of her album crowdfunding campaign.
“Since I went solo in 2013, I have looked forward to the time when I could tour my music, sharing it with as many people as I can. Being able to start this tour off with recording an album live in my hometown is a dream, and my tribute to the rich tapestry of where I have come from and the people whose lives have woven their stories with mine to build the current picture. I’m very grateful for the support of Concerts SA and Arte Viva Management for making this tour possible, and also to Lineout Sound for their support with the recording.
Tour details:
Saturday, 10 February. The Chairman, Durban.
Show starts 22h30
Cover charge of R150 deducted from food & drinks bill.
Address: The Chairman, 146 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Durban
Enquiries: bookings@artevivamanagement.com
Sunday, 11 February. The Bat Centre, Durban.
Show starts at 15h00
No cover charge.
Address: The BAT Centre, 45 Maritime Place, Durban.
Enquiries: bookings@artevivamanagement.com
Saturday, 17 February. Steve Biko Centre, King Williams Town.
Doors open 18h00, show starts 19h00.
Tickets: R100 adults / R50 students & pensioners with ID. Available at the door.
Address: Steve Biko Centre, 2429 Mbeka Street, Ginsburg, King William’s Town.
Enquiries: Xolani – 043 – 605 6700 or xkapakati@sbf.org.za