GLORY of the Last Days (pictured) is a group of five gospel music singers who have been active since the early 2000s. According to their spokeswoman, Faith Khanyile, it took sheer determination to get the group off the ground.
“We had been singing together for a few years before our first album, which we released in 2004. It was called Uyakhazimula and it was a mild success,” said Khanyile.
A few more albums followed suit but the group could not really break past the membrane of their local community.
“In 2007, Umlilo Ongcwele came out and for the first we time felt that our work was paying off as we were playlisted all over the country. It was our third album and although we had struggled in the past, we believed that at some point we would get a break,” said Khanyile.
But all those are tales of the past. It’s 2014 now and Glory of the Last Days has a new offering for its fans. Titled Ubukhulu Bothando, the album is a CD/DVD combo that marks the group’s sixth project so far.
“We have decided to give our fans a DVD to go with the CD so that they get to enjoy the music video. We have shot all the songs on the CD for those who want to see the entire experience on the screen,” she said.
Since the album’s release, Khanyile said, the support from fans had been intense.
“We are receiving a lot of support from the fans and radio stations. We have our music on several national channels and that is helping those who don’t know about us to be aware and also join the movement,” she said.
To extend their reach, Glory of the Last Days travels extensively.
“We travel around South Africa a lot. We also go to our neighbouring countries, too. These include places like Swaziland and Lesotho where we get invited a lot,” she said.
Unlike other genres, with gospel music there are some serious expectations and Khanyile cited some of them as challenges to most people in her shoes.
“You have to walk the talk. You can’t be singing of one thing and then living another life. So it is quite challenging to always be on the right side of things,” she said.
She added that her group was made of young people and sometimes she had to double up as a parent.
“I am the mother figure and over the years growing pains formed part of our challenges, but, as any family would, we just dealt with them internally,” she said.
If she had the chance to collaborate with any artist in the industry, Khanyile said she would have to choose between the likes of Benjamin Dube, Solly Mahlangu and Hlengiwe Mhlaba.
“I love the way Benjamin sings. I don’t have Solly’s energy on stage but I really appreciate how strong his performances are. Hlengiwe is a master vocalist. Any of these would be great to work with in the future,” she said.
• Ubukhuku Bothando is available at music stores.