Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Get Ready For Freddie

Attention all you Tsonga Disco fans out there. Make sure to tune in later in the week when we will be sharing some brand new tracks by the Shangaan Svengali himself, Mr Joe Shirimani. To warm you up for that, here is some top quality 1990s South African pop from Freddie Gwala.

Freddie is a bit of a Svengali figure himself. He started out as songwriter, co-producer and founder member of the band Pure Gold, who were big in the 1980s. He went solo in the early 1990s and had a massive hit with 'Amadamara' which we have featured here before. This was followed by a string of successful singles and albums, and his solo career continues to this day.

Ten years or so back he discovered the band Platform 1 and again took up production and songwriting duties to guide them to success. He has also written songs for the likes of Brenda Fassie. Somewhere along the way he found time in his busy schedule to serve eight years in jail for car theft. And he has recently taken Zimbabwean dance troupe Amavithikazi under his wing in an attempt to work his magic with them.

I have his first five solo albums in my collection. Here is one song from each of them, including his touching tribute to Ms Diana Ross. Whether Diana has returned the compliment and recorded a track called 'Freddie Gwala' is not known.

"Iyajikajika" (from "Amadamara") - Freddie Gwala

"Shikisha" (from "Amadamara 2: Shikisha Mahala") - Freddie Gwala

"Diana Ross" (from "Amadamara 3: Disco Mshini") - Freddie Gwala

"Amaphalazo" (from "Amadamara 4: Gumba Faya") - Freddie Gwala

"Usisi Rose" (from "Amadamara 5: Ngiboshiwe") - Freddie Gwala

I thought about having a Diana Ross clip here. But then I thought, no, let's have something decent instead.

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