Monday, 24 November 2014

South Sea Records teams up with some of the city’s most loved coffee shops as an outlet for new & notable independent local music releases

Artists From Left: Madala Kunene, Hinds Brothers, Guy Buttery, Faye Oakes, Qadasi
Durban based record label South Sea Records has been finding new ways to get local music into the hands and hearts of the people- In this regard the independent label have just announced an exciting partnership with the city's hippest and most happening coffee shops that will see the trend setting barrister joints now doubling as music retailers for some of Durban's most loved musicians.

 Well it's all a bit more humble than that really, with South Sea Records branded wooden stands showcasing albums from some of Durban's best loved artists being supplied to the shops. “Discover new music” is what it is all about, and that is the phrase to look out for as well.

To start off you will find albums by South Sea Records own artists including the SAMA nominated brother band- Hinds Brothers as well as the ambient Faye & Wren, alongside the legendary “King of the Zulu Guitar” Madala Kunene, incredible guitar virtuoso and SAMA winner- Guy Buttery as well as the young maskanda folk hero David Jenkins.

Be sure to look out for the South Sea Records stands and support local music! They can be found at some of your favourite coffee shops in Durban including The Factory Café, Coffee Tree (Glenwood & Windemere) ,KZNSA Gallery, Bean Green & Artists Gallery (South Coast).

Friday, 17 October 2014

Madala Kunene Performs Carnegie Hall

Madala Kunene is one of South Africa’s most musically accomplished sons. He is a guitarist, singer, a songwriter, a composer and a musical anthropologist whose native rhythms cross the musical lines between jazz and Nguni folk blues. Affectionately known as Bafo (which means brother) his sound has become a staple diet on music stages across South Africa for well over five decades and his dexterity on the six string has earned him the title of King of the Zulu Guitar.

Kunene was born in the culturally vibrant black suburb of Mkhumbane (later known as Cator Manor), in 1951 just outside of Durban. The son of a carpenter and a working mother, he was raised by his grandmother who was a dedicated academic and school teacher.

Madala first got a whiff of the blues via the small quartet which was run and lead by his father. Almost daily they would practice in the Kunene yard and even write their own songs to perform at the local Mkhumbane venues over the weekends. It is this that lead to Kunene having a good ear for music from an early age. “I didn’t notice it at the time but it was something that made a strong impression on me,” says Kunene. “Especially seeing my father outside of the role of being a parent and enjoying it so much. It made me understand the transformative power of music.”

It those formative years, Madala would also show the rebellious spirit that has become part and parcel of the DNA of his music by quitting school and instead electing to forge his own path. “It was not easy decision but even from that early age I knew that I wanted to communicate in a different way and that being an academic was not my destiny,” he notes.

In 1959 under the tightening grip of Apartheid’s laws, Madala, his family and many others in Mkhumbane were up-rooted from their homes, stripped of their possessions and then moved to the then relatively new township of KwaMashu. This was the first time that Kunene came face to face with the tyranny of the Apartheid state – a tug of war that would be a personal imposition on him for the next 35 years. Speaking about this Kunene describes the forced removals as an audacious attempt at erasing the cultural memories of an entire community. “When they moved us you didn’t even move with your neighbors. You were all located in different areas so all those people we knew and loved, we never got to see some of them ever again. It was not just moving us physically but it was moving the world as we knew it”

It’s these types of incidents that have both fuelled and informed Madala’s musical output. This desire to revive memory is part and parcel of his musical arsenal and is expressed sincerely as Kunene blends up-tempo guitar synths with melancholic bluesy lyrics – resulting in a contemplative yet entertaining musical concoction.

At the age of 7, Kunene made his own guitar, a four-string made from oil tins, fishing line and wood. Soon after, Madala’s first band The Amanikapeni (loosely translated to give a penny) was formed. Kunene began to hone and fine tune his craft on the streets of Durban where each day he would walk 8km with his band to bask and hustle. Then, his musical repertoire was made up mostly of Beatles songs and American jazz standards.

In the years that followed Madala started to gain notoriety as a top guitar marksmen. But this love for music often was at odds with his other passion – football. A fierce soccer player, Kunene struck fear into the hearts opposing sides as key player for the African Wanderers side of the 70’s and early 80s.

Around 1978 encouraged by the late great Sandile Shange and Duzi Mahlobo, Kunene began to formulate his concept of blending intricate jazz patterns with traditional Zulu musical structures and Nguni folklore lyrics. This blend has become the central distinguishing characteristic of Madala’s music – known as the Madalaline. It has since been studied by academics and included as course material in musical classes. “You don’t have to take on too much responsibility or to play too many chords. Just play what feels right for the mood and the moment,” says Kunene. “The Madalaline is about how your work with the guitar and what kind of life experience you bring to it.”

Following his retirement from professional football after a recurring knee injury, Madala Kunene was able to focus more fully on his musical output. In 1981 Kunene found a partner and collaborator in Saxaphonist Elias Ngindi with whom he joined up to form Izanusi. The outfit would be Madala’s first major foray into original compositions. In the 80s the cultural lines in South Africa were also being blurred and venues started to open up a little more for previously marginalised musicians, The Izanusi would often perform in public spaces and old age homes building an audience for themselves wherever they could. But this was not without its challenges often the police would barge into rehearsals, calling the sessions illegal gatherings before destroying the musicians’ instruments. Despite this, the tests only served to strengthen Madala’s resolve in the urgency of what he had to say.

Madala’s friendship with guitar master Sipho Gumende was a turning point and with Gumede they travelled to Johannesburg where Kunene would start to tour professionally for the first time, gracing stages with musicians such as Doc Mthalane, and longtime friend and partner in crime Busi Mhlongo.

In 1988 Kunene embarked on a solo career and after a three year stint working on and off with troupe Woza Afrika, this blues troubadour was offered a solo record deal by B+W records (later knows as M.E.L.T 2000) and under the label featured on a litany of complilations including Freedom Countdownproduced by Sipho Gumede in as well as Healers Brew along with Aito Moreira. This was the first time Bafo worked extensively in a defined studio environment recording music.

In late 1995 Madala’s first album Konko man (which means strong man) was released. Produced by folk legend, Pops Mohamed, Konko man features a list of musicians that reads like the who’s who of Mzansi’s Nguni blues scene. Including Sipho Gumede, Mabi Thobejane, Busi Mhlongo, Mandla Mgabhi and Mandla Masuku. Konko man, covers themes as varied as displacement and unease at the height of South Africa’s transitions into democracy. This record was largely ignored by mainstream media, failing to grapple with Kunene’s eclectic short-stop finger work style. However it gained traction via live shows and soon became a hit and is now known as the crown jewel in Kunene’s discography. I am surprised by how people still look to that album as a blueprint for my sound,” says Kunene. “It was an inspired record because I had spent a lifetime preparing for it. So I knew what I wanted to say in the songs and had the space to say it.”

Kunene’s haunting rhythms have regularly been appropriated by artists of a younger generation. Most notably blues heiress Thandiswa Mazwai’s rendition of Abangoma, one of the lead tracks Madala wrote and recorded with Busi Mhlongo for Konko man.

In 1996 Kunene along with Gabriel Thobenjane, Kunene was invited to record in London with Doc Mthalane as he pieced together his last offering called, Respect.

A sophomore album, MadaMax, which was co-written with Swiss guitarist Max Lesser, came out two years after Konko man and was welcomed with equal with critical acclaim. The duo worked hard to create a record that was a musical quilt of their different backgrounds and tastes. It would also open up avenues for Madala to travel more regularly overseas and ply his musical trade there.

That project was followed-up by another collaborative record, this time with fellow Durban son, Syd Kitchen entitled Bafo Bafo. It continued in Madala’s now established habit of mixing ethnic and Western playing styles of music to create a vibrant and musically diverse output. In 2004 Kunene worked with Bernard Mndaweni on the bass to perform two live shows which were filmed and released on DVD.

Since then, Madala has recorded several solo projects including his latest album 1959 (2014),MadaMax Bafo in 2006 (the second part of his series with Max Lesser) and Uxolo (2005), A meditation on South Africa’s post-democratic story and an examination of rainbow nation values.

Among his most personal work, Kunene recounts his score for the soundtrack of the international isiZulu language film Yesterday featuring Leleti Khumalo. The film centers on the story of a young girl named Yesterday, who lives with her HIV positive mother.

In 2012 Kunene was honoured by the longest running music festival in the country, Splashy Fen for his role in advancing music in South Africa and increasing the international prestige of the event. In the Underberg farm where the festival is held annually, Kunene has a road named after him and remains one of the most prolific performers on the Splashy fen stage having been on the artists line up a total of 12 times since it was founded in 1990.

Kunene has wowed audiences with sold out solo shows in countries as far afield as Germany, Switzerland, France and the USA. Along the way collecting a string of honorary degrees and musical praise.

Kunene is also a regular feature on various records including those of guitar virtuoso, Guy Buttery and has recently worked with BLK JKS drummer Tshepang Ramoba on some new material. Kunene is also currently composing his next album, an all instrumental offering which he says will be a masterclass on the Madalaline guitar playing style. Kunene is a man who has forged a long and varied career in music simply by being himself adding his personal voice and musical sensibility to the process of collaboration. This give and take he says is the most cherished part of what he does. A spiritualist and believer in the ancestors, Madala has been married twice and is the father of nine. “Music and the guitar are just extensions of my personality they allow me to be more of who I already am and that is a precious gift,” says Bafo.

(Extract from

Monday, 15 September 2014

Hinds Brothers Announce Cape Tour Dates for Sep/Oct 2014

This spring the Hinds Brothers will embark upon a 2 week tour of the Cape starting in Grahamstown on Tuesday 23rd September and culminating with 6 dates in Cape Town from 30 September – 6 October.
In February 2014 Hinds Brothers released their SAMA nominated debut album ‘Ocean of Milk’ on Sheer Records to critical acclaim nationwide, including a 4 star review in the Rolling Stone as well as a 5 star review in Audio & Video. The brothers have just returned from their performance at Oppikoppi as well as two double bill shows with US artist Willy Mason.
Be sure to catch them at one of the following venues:
Grahamstown to George – September
  • Tuesday 23rd – Grahamstown @ The Lowlander
  • Wednesday 24th– Port Elizabeth @ The Cash Store
  • Thursday 25th – The Crags @ Wild Spirit Backpackers
  • Friday 26th – Knysna @ Peace of Eden
  • Saturday 27th – George @ George Arts Theatre
  • Sunday 28th – Napier @ Suntouched Inn
Cape Town – September/October
  • Monday 29th – Barleycorn Folk Club (Claremont)
  • Tuesday 30th – The Waiting Room (Long Street)
  • Wednesday 1st – Music Experience (Northgate Estate)
  • Thursday 2nd – Cafe Roux (Noordhoek)
  • Friday 3rd – Alma Cafe (Rosebank)
  • Saturday 4th – Octopus Garden (St James)
  • Monday 6th – Beats on Fire @ Cabrito Bar (Greenpoint)
  • Tuesday 7th – Greyton @ Greyton Ecolodge

Monday, 11 August 2014

South Sea Records brings Willy Mason to Durban for Two Shows with Hinds Brothers

Willy Mason
International recording and touring artist Willy Mason will be appearing in Durban for the first time ever on Saturday 23rd August at Live The Venue. Mason will be billing with Durban's very own acoustic brother duo, The Hinds Brothers.
Willy Mason’s critically acclaimed new album Carry On is out now on Communion Records. American Songwriter said,”Mason’s voice is gorgeous, his lyrics evocative and his arrangements adventurous – it’s a complete package that is as airtight as it is simple, as gorgeous as it rugged, the sort of record that burrows deep into your brain and doesn’t let go.”  Willy Mason is currently on the road in support of Carry On. The tour has so far included performances with Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Laura Marling.
Carry On, produced by Dan Carey (MIA, Hot Chip, Franz Ferdinand), is Mason’s 3rd full-length album and his first for Communion Records, the influential UK based record label co-founded by Ben Lovett(Mumford & Sons). The label has been home to notable artists Ben Howard, Michael Kiwanuka, GotyeDaughter and more. Communion’s love and respect for Willy was cemented through Lovett touring with Mason – seeing the new songs take shape and evolve live. Lovett says:
“Willy Mason is one of the greatest Songwriters of our generation. In the UK his music is held up with the legends, and has inspired many people I know. Moving to the US this year and establishing Communion further in North America, I have been stunned by how little familiarity there is with Willy’s music, I am stunned by how few people have been touched by his songs. And this emotion, one of injustice, is exactly why I started Communion with my friends and partners in the UK in the first place...Willy Mason sings songs to your soul, and it feels good.”
Willy was just 19 when he was discovered by an associate of Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), which led to the release of his debut album, Where the Humans Eat on Oberst’s Team Love record label. It was a record that showed us a young man with a tremendous, broad-oaked voice, a great songwriting talent, and a peculiar wisdom beyond his years.  In 2007, he returned with If The Ocean Gets Rough, an album that only underlined his ability to capture the spirit of a time, a place, and a generation. Mason earned massive critical commercial in the UK, selling 150k records and performing to thousands as a headline artist.
 In the years that followed, Mason kept himself busy: writing songs of course, but also playing in friends’ bands, promoting shows, teaching music classes, as well as a little shell-fishing, and hosting a radio talk show called ‘The Fish & Farm Report’. “The diversity and the range of experiences gave me a chance to learn a lot more about music.” Mason says. “I got to further my musicianship. I came to see playing shows and entertainment as a fundamental part of society, and I’m just playing my role.”  Willy was also featured in the video for “No Room For Doubt” (approaching one million views on Youtube), a collaboration between he and breakout artist, Liana LaHavas, which helped launch her career in the UK.
All the while, Mason was accumulating a clutch of new songs that would make up Carry On. On his relationship with Carey, Mason states: “Dan was a musical collaborator, and so he had a big influence on the sound,” Mason says “He was able to make the beats sound so human, and so it felt like the tracks were laid and I could kind of let go a bit more.”
Letting go is perhaps the greatest theme of Carry On. It’s present in the rhythms – hints of dub and reggae infusing Mason’s characteristic folk structures, and in his voice as well , which swings from gravel-deep to something higher, flightier and more fragile. And of course, it’s also packed tight in these songs’ lyrics; songs about self-doubt, about love and lost connections, the death of a friend, and a broader, bolder sense of the changing world around us. There is a hope rising anew. Mason says, “I think the album itself is about growing up and trying to find one’s place,” Mason says, “about making peace with the past, accepting it as part of one’s identity and moving forward.”

“Yes, you read that right: Willy Mason’s Carry On is a perfect record. Perfect – we wouldn’t change a note!” - American Songwriter

“Equal parts hobo and Holden Caulfield…Willy Mason blends precocious lyricism, spare, jangly guitar, and a world-weary voice that sounds older than his years.” - Rolling Stone 

“Mason’s lo-fi blues/folk blend is refreshingly humble and unostentatious.  Instead of using these standards as a springboard for modern adventures in composition, he sticks to their rawboned essence. Unlike some of his peers, Mason doesn’t play up that rawness; instead he allows those old Progressions to work their magic…” -Pitchfork

“Willy Mason has stolen our attention with his unique sound and its wholehearted purity. His smoky voice sings with a booming sincerity like nothing we’ve heard since Nebraska-era Springsteen.” Baeble Music

Hinds Brothers
The Hinds Brothers Band are an acoustic folk rock country group fronted by singer/songwriter brothers Aden & Wren Hinds. Born and raised in the small town of Ramsgate on the KwaZulu Natal South Coast, the music of The Hinds Brothers emblemizes the tranquil beauty of these surrounds – but much more than that, they bring to the art of melody and lyric music written, sung, and played from the heart for the heart.

Individually their voices are very different yet meld seamlessly into harmonic perfection. Similarly their songwriting displays that merging compatability that produces songs of unforgettable melody line and lyrical beauty. These qualities, perfectly complimented by voices of great originality and beauty, make live performances by these young musicians an intimate, dynamic and unforgettable experience. They have evolved a style uniquely and undeniably their own, taking inspiration from a wide range of influences including the Beatles and Syd Kitchen.

The Durban based duo's debut album 'Ocean of Milk' was released independently towards the end of 2013, and soon attracted the attention of record labels. The brothers signed a licensing deal with Sheer Sound in January 2014 and the album has was nominated for a SAMA award in the Best Adult Contemporary category. 'Ocean of Milk' features some of South Africa's great musicians such as Marc Duby on upright bass and Ant Cawthorn-Blazeby on fiddle among others and was produced by The Hinds Brothers themselves, mixed by SAMA award winning producer Dan Roberts, and mastered by Alan Douches (Sufjan Stevens, Roky Erickson) in New York, USA. Following incredible reviews in Rolling Stone and Audio & Video magazine, 'Ocean of Milk' is sure to make an indellible mark on the music industry.

Great music always resonates with the trilogy of mind, heart and spirit and in this respect the creative work of the Hinds Brothers is an unqualified success, for their music will live long in the minds, hearts and spirits of all who are fortunate enough to experience their art.

"So very beautiful... 'Ocean of Milk' definitely up for album of the year." - Diane Coetzer (Contributing Editor - Rolling Stone SA)

"Hinds Brothers are up there with the best songwriters in the world"   -  David Marks (3rd Ear Music)

"My favourite acoustic duo"  -  Syd Kitchen

“One of the most beautiful duos around...” - Nibs van der Spuy

“What a package! Soothes and caresses the soul... instantly engaging with breathtaking harmonies. Pure velvet, effortless and a delight to the senses.”  -  Gloria Rhodes (Whats On SA)

Monday, 4 August 2014

Oppikoppi Rising

Durban Town's very own 'Hinds Brothers' are set to perform at Oppikoppi Festival 2014 this weekend (7-9th Aug). This years festival also features some of our favourite international artists like Willy Mason and Cat Power- The Brothers perform at 3pm on Friday 8th August at the folk stage up the mountain-  as Texx & the City says- "Kick back and let them serenade the shit outta you with songs off their debut SAMA-nominated album 'Ocean Of Milk' "

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Hinds Brothers Release Film Recording of 'The Drifter' Live in Studio

Thanks to Dan Roberts at Stoep Studios in Johannesburg for capturing this video of the brothers recording 'The Drifter' for the debut album- Ocean of Milk. 

'Ocean of Milk' available on Itunes & Limited Edition Digipaks available direct from the Hinds Bros Store

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Faye & Wren's 'Volume One' Revisited

After selling 200 units of the seven track Volume One debut, Durban based ambient/lo-fi singer songwriters, Faye & Wren revisit the cult album in 2014.

The self produced album was recorded through the beginning of 2013 and features a collection of songs & loose poems written & produced by Wren Hinds & Faye Oakes which also includes 2 tracks originally written as poems by Keith Erasmus (who was responsible for the original haunting cover photograph of a young girl running through a church in the historical South African village of Botshabelo in the Transvaal.)

"We recorded it all in our own space and I guess we just captured that mood which was something special" explains Oakes. The layering of instruments and a curious approach to sound is what shaped this record. 

Oakes & Hinds' paths crossed in 2006 as students of Contemporary Music & Production at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg which resulted in a union between the two creatives.

"We pressed 100 copies to start with, cover prints were printed at the Marianhill Mission Press & the records were pressed by a shady guy in Pinetown- from there we assembled the album at home and sold most of them at shows-."

Now halfway through 2014 Volume One is being revisited as a limited edition pressing with only 300 copies  of the reissue in circulation with enchanting album art by Durban based mixed media artist, Rennis Erasmus Poster Co. & includes an overture introduction to the record which comes packaged in elegant cardboard sleeves released on independent South African label- South Sea Records.

You can get a feel for the Volume One reissue & pre-order it here.
(Vinyl junkies please be patient while we source vinyl pressing plants in Africa)

Monday, 2 June 2014

Bright Eyes/Postal Service Contributor & Founder of The Mynabirds - Laura Burhenn Embarks on a South African Tour of Intimate Venues in Four Historical Cities including Guest Collaborations with some of South Africa's most Alluring Songstresses - 'The Songbird Tour'

Laura Burhenn is an established singer songwriter from the United States and the dynamic front woman of the soul folk band The Mynabirds. She has also toured the world extensively as a member of indie mega bands The Postal Service and Bright Eyes. In her first visit to South Africa, Laura will be performing in Cape Town, at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, Durban & Johannesburg. As part of the tour initiative, Laura will be collaborating with equally established homegrown songbirds – Inge Beckmann (Lark / Beast) for the Cape Town performances, Faye Oakes (Faye & Wren) in Durban and Eve Rakow (The Frown) in Johannesburg.

Furthermore, Laura will be embarking on a unique pilot program in partnership with One Fine Day and Africa Voices Trust that aims to uplift two singers from previously disadvantaged communities (development artists) via a mentorship process to provide them the opportunity to develop real experience in a tour environment.

The Songbird Tour places subtle emphasis on celebrating the creative woman. It is aimed at being a pioneering exchange that serves as an interaction between established international artists, up and coming South African talent and local singers and performers within disadvantaged communities. The artists and crew – all professionals in their own right – have donated their time and expertise to the mentorship program free of charge as a focus toward upliftment and sustainable job creation. The established acts are each vibrant and successful female artists who have significantly contributed to their respective music scenes.


3 July - Cape Town (with Inge Beckmann)

11/12 July - Grahamstown National Arts Festival

15 July - Durban (with Faye Oakes)

17 July - Johannesburg (with Eve Rakow)

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Hinds Brothers Band to Perform 'Live The Venue' in Durban

On Saturday 31st May, Hinds Brothers Band perform at Durban's 'Live the Venue'.

Brothers Aden and Wren Hinds pull together a band featuring some of South Africa's most well recognized musicians including Bruce Baker on drums, Logan Byrne on bass, and Ant Cawthorn-Blazeby on fiddle. 

Hinds Brothers' debut album 'Ocean of Milk' was released in Spring 2013 to much critical acclaim, leading up to their signing a record deal with Sheer Sound and being nominated for a SAMA Award last month.

The live shows of the Hinds Bros are always a little different, and the boys are looking very forward to getting out on stage with a full band once again. The evening will open with sets from brother and sister duo, Daniel and Sophia Basckin, as well as the lovely Faye Oakes.

R50 gets you in.
Doors open at 8pm
No Under 18s

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Durban's Madala Kunene & Hinds Brothers Receive Guitar Endorsement

King of Zulu Guitar- Madala Kunene
Classic Acoustics KZN, the official appointed distributors of Alvarez Guitars in KwaZulu Natal, are proud to announce an exciting Alvarez guitar endorsement for Durban based musicians Madala Kunene, 'The King of Zulu guitar', as well as acoustic/folk/indie/country/rock phenomenon The Hinds Brothers.
Established in 1965 by St. Louis Music, Alvarez guitars have been one of the leading acoustic guitar brands in the U.S.A. And around the world for the last 50 years, but have only recently been introduced to South Africa. The Alvarez image is synonomous with quality and innovatioon, their guitars being well known for tone and feel, while many of the greats over the last five decades have gravitated towards the brand and its guitars.
John Steenhuisen of Classic Acoustics KZN commented: “On hearing The Hinds Brothers debut album 'Ocean of Milk', I was immediately impressed with their music ability and songwriting skills, which I consider ranks alongside their overseas counterparts. I have no doubt that the Hinds Brothers have a bright future ahead of them.” he went on to say “Madala Kunene is a legend at home, and even more so internationally, with pure music flowing through his blood. We feel both Madala Kunene and The Hinds Brothers represent the very best of what South African music has to offer, and we are very proud and excited that they have chosen to use and endorse Alvarez Guitars. Now the public and musicians alike can take the opportunity to see and hear the Hinds Brothers and Madala Kunene performing with their Alvarez Guitars at future gigs.”

Aden & Wren Hinds (The Hinds Brothers)
On receiving his Alvarez guitar the legendary Madala Kunene commented, “I am very happy”, and went on to call his Alvarez “the best guitar I have ever played”. Aden Hinds of the SAMA nominated Hinds Brothers said that “there is something quite special about these Alvarez guitars, just a beautiful tone... "We're very stoked!” Brother Wren added “The pickups are the best I've ever heard in an acoustic guitar.”
Alvarez guitars have been played by some of the worlds finest musicians including Joe Bonamassa, Johnny Cash, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Ani DiFranco, The Grateful Dead, Paul McCartney, Monte Montgomery, Carlos Santana and Radiohead. Another South African connection in the Alvarez story is Shaun Morgan of Seether, who also plays and endorses Alvarez guitars in their acoustic shows.

“It is into this exclusive group of artists that we are proud to welcome KwaZulu Natal's very own Madala Kunene as well as The Hinds Brothers.” says Steenhuisen. “Durban has always been the darkhorse city of South African music, consistently producing some of the best artists the country has to offer but never quite getting the recognition they deserve. We are very glad to be able to empower KZN music in this way, and hope this will help to get KZN music on the map even more.”

Madala was chosen to represent South Africa at the “20 years of democracy celebrations” in New York later this year and will be performing at Carnegie hall on the 11th of October. He also has a new album titled '1959' that is set to be released soon, while the Hinds Brothers debut album 'Ocean of Milk', re-released by Sheer Sound on February 14th, has been receiving much critical acclaim in leading music journals, among them Rolling Stone and Audio & Video, and has also been nominated for a SAMA award in the 'Best Adult Contemporary' category.

There are now also talks of a collaboration between Kunene and the brothers Hinds, so watch this space.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Hinds Brothers Debut Nominated for SAMA 2014 (South African Music Award)

Two years in the making, the Hinds Brothers debut 'Ocean of Milk' has become an album of the heart with a living tale. Produced by the brothers themselves, the album was recorded in no less than 7 studios in Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria, and features 19 of South Africa's top musicians. It was mixed by award winning producer Dan Roberts and mastered in New York by Alan Douches (Sufjan Stevens, Roky Erikson). 

'Ocean of Milk' has a wholly cohesive depth to it that resonates with the great albums of yore, while brothers Aden and Wren Hinds' beautiful songwriting and arrangements are artfully complimented by the lush and acoustically textured production. The harmonic resonance of the two distinct voices, together with their reflective and honest lyrical sensibility communicates true profundity - bringing meaning and nourishment to an art form that has been somewhat neglected in recent times.

Now at the very beginning of 2014 there has been alot of good news and hype surrounding the Durban brothers, with the recent announcement of a record deal with Sheer Records, South Africa's biggest indie label & now the latest news that Ocean of Milk has been nominated for a SAMA (South African Music Award) in the category of Best Adult Contemporary Album of 2014. 

Ocean of Milk is available at

 "We are very, very stoked to announce that 'Ocean of Milk' has been nominated for the Best Adult Contemporary #SAMA award 2014! Huge thanks to everyone involved in the making of this epic labour of love, we are very proud..." - Hinds Brothers

 art form that has been somewhat neglected in recent times.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Sober Hearts Africa founder and friend of South Sea, Zola Songo talks 'Chords for Compassion'

Sober Hearts Africa is a non-profit organization based in Durban,South Africa, that aims to inspire disadvantaged young people to reach their potential. We achieve this aim by engaging youth in music, film, recreational camps and team building workshops. 

The purpose of the 'Chords for Compassion' project is to create a life changing, perspective challenging experience for youth from diverse backgrounds. The project was inspired by the need to develop greater understanding and empathy within South African society. Our extended objective is to inspire the youth to engage more in the high of creativity rather than crime or drugs. We intend to unveil the power they all possess to create, despite their circumstances.

Music will be used as a therapeutic tool. Rather than emphasizing on a tangible musical output our main focus is to create collaborative relationships through a playful and open-minded setting. This way we will break down unfounded opinions and prejudice.

We will be collaborating with schools and teachers to involve South African youth between the ages of 14 and 16, from various racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. 

Watch the promo video here :


  • Our one-day workshops will include 20 participants from 4 different schools. 
  • The first session will consist of icebreakers and team building activities, in order to form trust and create an open, fun and inspiring atmosphere.
  • After a joint lunch break the teenagers will be split into two groups and tasked with writing and recording a song. A professional musician will facilitate the process of songwriting and recording. We will encourage simple musical elements such as beat-boxing, solos, rapping, a capella, clapping and any creative sounds the young musicians can come up with.
  • At the end of the workshop there will be a debrief session reviewing the accomplishment and the journey made.
Though we will impact the lives of the immediately involved participants and staff, we also want to spread the message further. We will do this by having all activities filmed and cut into a documentary, which will be available in the public domain. It will especially be useful for teachers and students nationwide in lessons such as arts and culture or life orientation.
The film will also be used for future fundraising in order to create a sustainable continuation of the workshops. 

Check out the Chords for Compassion campaign here:

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Hinds Bros Announce Record Deal, A New Track, Plus 'Ocean of Milk' Re-Release in 2014 with Sheer Records

Article taken from an entry in the Hinds Brothers news blog, 'The Wanderer Journal'. -

So we realize it's been a little while since we gave you an update on what we've been up to friends. Life moves along faster than ever, and we're already well into the year 2014, wow! Among other things, we need to fill you in on a new track we recorded while on tour in December (that we'd like to give away free to our loyal fans), a record deal and the 2014 re-release of our debut album 'Ocean of Milk'.

We ended 2013 with a mellow acoustic tour of the Cape, and had some great shows in Cape Town, The Crags and Knysna among other places. But along with a great show in Port Elizabeth, we managed to find an hour or so to record a song that we originally planned to be on 'Ocean of Milk' but somehow didn't make the cut. 'Gone & Grey' was recorded at Tanglewood Studios by John Dirker. We did a live take (which John filmed as well) before we had to race off to perform in Plettenberg Bay that night. We're really stoked with how it turned out, you can see the video here:

Soon after returning from the Cape Tour, in early January as the heat was rising on the East Coast of Africa, we finalized and signed a licensing deal for 'Ocean of Milk' with South Africa's most successful independent label, Sheer Records. With the signing of the album over to Sheer, there will also be a 2014 release date, and the record will finally be available in the best music stores nationwide, as well as iTunes etc. In addition, we still have a few copies of the limited edition digipak left, which will be available at our shows or over here -

We look forward to connecting soon again, big love from us!


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