FreshlyGround and we not talking coffee. A throwback chat from almost 10 years ago with my favourite band…
B: Who Is FreshlyGround?
FG: Freshlyground is a multiracial multinational band ensemble of different makes, sizes, sexes, religion and colours etc etc etc… And the sum of all these things is greater than the parts.
Formed in Capetown 2003, their debut Jika Jika hit the streets and they started gaining popularity for their blend of pop, jazz, blues and indie rock infused with cross-cultural elements from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
B: How did you all meet and how long have you been together?
FG: The band is in it’s 10th year and we all met without looking for one another… quite spontaneous and organic.
B: You have a distinct sound how do you define your music?
FG: That’s a difficult thing to do so we just describe it as the Fg sound.
B: Zolani you have powerful distinct vocals curious minds (mainly me) want to know what’s the secret? Do you sing in the shower?
Zolani: *laughing* There are no secrets…. I just thinks it’s what I was destined to do….. I sing everywhere.
B: Guys is this a full-time gig or you have other “things” you do when you not doing FG stuff?
FG: *chuckling*…. is there room for anything else after all that? This is quite a long question. Yes it is a full time thing but some of us are involved in other music projects.
B: How do you balance your lives?
FG: iPhone events scheduler?(laughing)
B: How do you unwind?
FG: I guess we all do different things to relax. A lot of us cook to relax. Simon and Julio love running.
B: Whats the biggest audience you have perfomed?
FG: I would say 50 000
B: the best audience feedback you had during perfomance?
FG: This is tough to answer as we’ve had so many amazing audiences all over the world.
B: Africa and the rest of the world may have learnt of your existence after the 2010 World Cup Theme in collaboration with Shakira but you have performed at Zim’s arts festival HIFA, when are you coming back to Zimbabwe?
FG: We are currently not able to travel to Zim as Bob did not like our chicken song
B: Who is married, who is not, who is single, who is available? Do tell. Do tell, so I know where not to put too many heart-shaped emojis.
FG: You can put hearts where you like. PS: Only Simon and Kyla are up for grab!
B: I know you believe in human angels who walk barefoot and wear funny hats, and fairies how bout aliens???
FG: We believe in all the above.
B: How do you come up with your music? Who writes, is it inspired by true to life events or what?
FG: we write a lot together and are definitely inspired by events going on be it inside or outside of our heads.
B: someone reading this who has never listened to any of your songs which one do you recommend they start with?
FG: Let fate decide that
B: Who do you listen to?
FG: Bob marley. Stevie wonder. Busi Mhlongo
B: If you could have any super power what would you pick.
FG: The ability to educate and feed those in need
B: Being “celebrities” do you have any preferential treatment you now expect when on tour like a particular beverage, handmade silk sheets, designer apparel?
FG: We’re not to fussy but we do like a bottle of Jamesons after the show
B: Final words of advice.
FG: Keep practicing
Updates of interest
To date Freshlyground has a discography of 7 Albums
They have performed in Zimbabwe several times after the late president Robert Mugabe’s “resignation.” including a HIFA 2018 act that featured their 2010 song Chicken To Change which may have been cause of their unofficial ban since HIFA 2014 when they failed to make an appearance due to challenges with immigration
After close to 17 years with Freshlyground lead vocalist Zolani Mahola recently announced that she will be leaving the group to pursue a solo musical career and public speaking. Her last performance with Freshlyground will be on New year’s eve 2019
Stay tuned for an upcoming coffee chat with Zolani as I try not to be too star-struck and talk all things Freshlyground and her next chapter.