When it comes to South African music, we can truly say that we have one of the most diverse ranges of genres of music in the world. Sure, the USA has Country through to Rap, but so do we. Not only do we have everything the rest of the world has, including Symphonic musicians and composers, our own rappers, DJ’s and pop stars. We also have unique genres such as Kwaito and guys, I’m getting this out the way now, Afrikaans sokkie treffers, which may sometimes sound like Cheesy Pop or Country, but deep down we know it’s on a whole different level to anything else in the world (it is also apparently the largest music market in SA…).
My point is, we have had incredible musical influences and should you have been a South African lucky enough to grow up from the 80’s through to the 90’s, you would recognise names such as ; Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse sounds of & Mango Groove and if you, like me, ever experienced a family road-trip in your youth in the 90’s then chances are, your pops had Soweto String Quartet jamming on the speakers until you simply couldn’t take it anymore.
These influences have given us a very cool and varied bunch of musicians that are now filling our clubs, airwaves and iTunes accounts with some pretty kiff music.
I’m going to be the one to say it guys, and some of you may not like what I’m about to say.
Zeff is feeling a bit tired now and the peak-caps with over-compensating peaks have reached a sell-by date. As for making shocking music video’s or having insane behavior or hairstyles with purposefully badly done tattoos or wearing eye-liner *cough*Khan*cough*- we’re, I feel, starting to get over it. This is why there are bands out there that are giving us all reason to be excited.
Enter The Kiffness, a band you have never heard of, but you definitely have! Hailing from Cape Town, the band is really just 2 young gents that do a mix of instruments with some DJ-ing thrown into the mix. Why do I say you’ve heard of them without realising it? Well, it’s because these guys have quietly been nailing single-after-single onto some of the countries top radio stations playlists where they climb to the coveted top positions (Where Are You Going ft. Mathew Gold made it to the number 2 position of 5fm’s Top 40) with very little fuss and with humble “Carry On”.
Back to my earlier point, where I was harping on about all the different genres of music we have in South Africa and how this links back to The Kiffness. The first thing you might notice is, “Hmm, ok, cool. They have that whole Goldfish vibe going on.” Taking absolutely nothing away from Goldfish, The Kiffness take that and completely move into a new space of the, “Holy crap! This is the most amazing amazingest melody I have ever heard!” When you begin to hear the influences that the 2 band members, Dave and Mvelo bring to the music they create. Clearly there is some jazz for the cats to pick up on; this is from Dave’s love of Jazz Trumpet that he studied in that well-behaved, student town of Grahamstown at Rhodes.
Mvelo’s knowledge from having studied contemporary Drums and Bass in Johannesburg at Damelin College undeniably comes through and helps their music appeal to a young and lively audience. Thrown into the mix though, are also a whole host of other genre details that The Kiffness weave into their music. Listen close enough and you’re bound to pick up on some Pantsula influences, a Kwaito timbre and a taste of classically structured music.
Maybe it is due to some form of nostalgia for younger days when South African musicians were actually good and not just an act, that I’ve picked up on these undertones in The Kiffness’s music and that is why I now really enjoy them.
If you haven’t already (I’m telling you have, but you won’t believe me until you watch the video below) taken a listen to The Kiffness, do yourself a favour and let these 2 Michaelhouse Alumni serenade you with some of the best sounding music you’ve heard in ages. Their latest video, Pushin’ On is tons of fun visually (definitely a few digs at certain pop culture icons), but also ticks all the boxes musically.
Special thank you to Mvelo “BLKNORRIS” Shandu for pointing me in the right directions and resources to tell you all a bit more about him and his band-mate, David “White Django” Scott.
Matt is a Copy writer and rifleman currently residing in the city of Cape Town. Click here to check out his website.