In Tune - The music of freedom
"The end of apartheid meant that as a woman I could have my dignity back." This is what singer Yvonne Chaka-Chaka told me during the course of this week. I interviewed her, along with nine other musicians, in the run-up to Freedom Day. The other stars included Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, Elvis Blue, Jimmy Nevis, Koos Kombuis, Danny K, Zolani Mahola, J'Something and PJ Powers.
Hotstix recalled the tour of American R&B star Percy Sledge to Cape Town. The supporting band, made up of black and coloured musicians, had to use a separate entrance.
Powers told me about being banned by the SABC. She had recorded the hit single So Strong with Steve Kekana - the first pop song by a white woman and a black man. People were up in arms - what could PJ have been thinking, they said? Even the video was edited so that their hands weren't touching.
New generation musicians like J'Something, front-man of Micasa, acknowledge that PJ, Yvonne and Hotstix paved the way for him and others. In 2014 Micasa is a wonderful symbol of how far we've come. A white Portuguese man from Joburg playing music of black origin with black guys, resulting in no less than four radio hit singles and several SAMA nominations.
Have a happy Freedom Day… and play your music loud!