26 October 2006

Remembering Lebo Mathosa

As you may have seen in a slew of tribute articles (Afropop, BBC, Mmegi) in recent days, another of South Africa's musical stars has been extinguished. A car accident Monday took the life of 29-year-old South African kwaito singer Lebo Mathosa, who was known for her mesmerizing performances and shocking blonde hair.

Mathosa was lead vocalist with Boom Shaka, a hugely successful kwaito group in the 1990s, then launched a solo career that garnered her a number of awards for her singing and dance tunes. Oh, and she also won the 2001 Style Best Dressed Woman of the Year award and was distinguished (if that's the right word) by FHM Magazine of one of Africa’s sexiest women. Not that we're obsessing on her looks or anything...

In an ArtMatters interview, Lebo said "I adore chilling at home with my family, my mom; Lebo Mathosa is different from the stage performer and actress. She loves to relax. ... In the past I have been portrayed badly at times. Most is not true. I try to be a role model for younger people and do my best to give that good impression to younger artists and fans."

Benn Loxo has a nice tribute and an mp3 of Mathosa. For more kwaito (alas, without Lebo or Boom Shaka) check out the album Tales of Urban SA.

Don't confuse South Africa's Boom Shaka with the reggae band of the same name, which sounds more like this:
[mp3] Boom Shaka: "Rastafari Is the Future"
from the album Fertile Ground

And in completely unrelated news, dj earball dropped by Jazz Alley last night to catch the hijinks of the Rebirth Brass Band. You've surely heard of them -- they're one of the pillars of the New Orleans brass band tradition. They ripped up the place, converting a pale, stolid Seattle crowd into a mass of bouncing, bead-wearing partiers in just under two hours. Not bad for an octet of flood-displaced horn players & drummers in baggy shirts. San Francisco is next on their tour.

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