Based: Cape Town
One of the most acclaimed and successful bands to emerge from South Africa in recent years, Freshlyground blends the infectious kwela style and musical traditions from Zimbabwe and Mozambique with elements of pop, jazz, blues and indie rock. Formed in Cape Town the band became a national hit with the release of their 2003 debut, Jika Jika, and a year later they found themselves performing for South African President Mbeki and sharing the stage with the legendary Miriam Makeba at the North Sea Jazz Festival. Over the ensuing years, Freshlyground toured the world and recorded six increasingly popular albums, culminating in a collaboration with pop superstar Shakira that was chosen as the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They performed the song during the closing ceremony in a televised event that was broadcast to over a billion people. On a visit to South Africa in June 2013 during a speech at the University of Cape Town, President Barack Obama cited Freshlyground as an example of the contributions South Africa has made to the world. They truly represent the fresh new face of African music.
“This is the sound of striving, from people who don’t want to lose their past but at the same time want desperately to move ahead and find their place in the global mainstream. “ — National Public Radio
“The band is a true reflection of contemporary South Africa. “ — Afropop Worldwide