There is so much talent out there, but we never hear all of it because of the artists’ lack of financial resources.
It is only from TV shows such as Idols SA and SA’s Got Talent that we get a glimpse of the amount of talent that is to be found. Talent scouts can only handle so much talent at any given time, and the leftovers go unseen into an abyss of failed dreams.
The gospel group African Salvation may have been on the scene since 1995, but they gained national attention only when music mogul Lindelani Mkhize offered to help them last year with their latest CD, Isihlalo Sobukhosi.
“We are a group of 18 singers who started singing together in the mid-1990s. Some of our members have since left, but we also get new voices all the time,” said group spokesman and member, Ntshebe Hlengwa.
The group comprises eight female singers and 10 men. A few of them have been with the group from its inception.
Hailing from eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal, the ensemble has made a name for itself in the region, but not beyond its borders. They have had three unsuccessful albums and attribute their failure to a lack of financial backing from any established record company.
However, in a chance meeting with Mkhize last year, the group impressed the music scout, and he signed them on the spot.
“We can never thank him enough for believing in us when no one else did,” said Hlengwa. “He is a kind and grounded man who has taught us a lot in the time we have worked together.”
He describes the group’s music as “traditional gospel meets praise and worship”.
“We all come from very disadvantaged backgrounds where all we have is our talent. We all strive to push our talent to touch the world,” said Hlengwa.
Although they were not born with silver spoons in their mouths, they all believed God would take care of their dreams.
“We believe we have something to say to the world, and hopefully we will encourage people through our music,” he said.
Isihlalo Sobukhosi is an amalgamation of mellow worship songs and up-tempo praise and worship material aimed at uplifting the spirit. You will find their sound unique in that they mix old gospel music styles with the funkier, newer sounds. This makes sense, since the majority of the group is young.
The group has travelled around KZN, to Joburg and Mpumalanga.
“We are still travelling around and want to go everywhere while our CD is still playing on the radio,” said Hlengwa.
Isihlalo Sobukhosi is available in stores nationwide.