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Sakhile Moleshe was for years the voice of the Cape Town electro band Goldfish. And, quite honestly, he has one of the sexiest and most sophisticated voices of his time.
This bubbly personality with his willing laugh and naughty face is extremely talented and does not just have a voice for dance music. His career was started with the hurricane that is the inter-national world of Goldfish.
However, having left the group to pursue his solo career means he is showing musical lovers that there are many sides to his talent including jazz, traditional Xhosa, playing the piano and just all around musical genius.
Know this: Sakhile Moleshe will grow to become an iconic South African musician who will provide us with decades of excellent music, no matter in which genre he might choose to dabble.
He and his group, called Soul Housing Project, which he started with his close friend and fellow musician, Bokani Dyer, will be one of the headline acts at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
What is the concept behind Soul Housing Project?
Soul Housing Project provides a shelter for your soul in music. We play all kinds of music to appeal to all souls.
What is the history of Soul Housing Project?
Bokani Dyer and I met at UCT and for years we played in different ensembles. He is a pianist whom I really respect. I would watch him play in his practice room and then couldn’t play my piano for a week.
One day Bokani walked in and heard what I was playing and loved it. He offered to play with me which gave me the space to focus on my singing. We wrote a huge volume of work and finally it’s got to where it is today.
What can jazz fans expect from Soul Housing Project at the festival?
The core group is five, but we are adding a trumpet and trombone for the festival. We are playing at 8pm on Saturday at The Bassline stage. Expect a show that goes from intimate to explosive.
You have been gigging around Cape Town for a while now. When will the rest of the country get to experience your group?
We are using the festival as a springboard for the rest of the country. We appeal across the board so we need to choose different venues to perform at.
What is your musical philosophy?
We as Soul Housing Project want to destroy genre barriers and I believe our show really reflects that. We don’t like genres. I play honest music. When I start writing music I don’t go, “Yo! My man!”
I believe in honest music and being a true reflection of who I am. But I must be certain of who I am.
Describe your relationship with Zim Ngqawana.
I met him at the National Arts Festival (in Grahamstown) when I was very young. I would go back- stage after he played and we would look each other straight in the eye and we didn’t have to speak.
Then one day I was playing the piano for two hours and he was outside listening. He came in and I continued playing. Then he invited me to participate in his Zimology course. He told me he was so glad I believed in the telepathy between us, that we didn’t talk until we needed to.
He took himself to the brink of death every time he played. He also taught us during those 18 days that in order to deflate our egos and tune into our higher self we had to understand that the higher self stands on the lower self. He said you had to explore your lower self.
What is your deeper connection with traditional Xhosa music?
Xhosa people keep to their traditions. I come from a rural part of the Eastern Cape and used to whistle like the birds on the mountain. I am an expert whistler. A lot of it was self-taught. It was only when I went to UCT that I realised our music is under arrest.
There were so many barriers I had to go through before I got to read up on Xhosa music. I have recorded a lot of Xhosa a capella music. I went to Canada for 20 days to do absolutely nothing. Sometimes I would switch on the mic and record just using my body and my voice. This included mimicking the trumpet and beat- boxing. This is something that I am really passionate about and when I have enough music I will release it.
You seem to be patient with your career.
I am in it I for eternity, not for accolades.
What are you working on outside of Soul Housing Project?
I am very focused on the project. However, outside of that I co-host an online radio show. It is called Globalise Yourself Stereo and is presented by Red Bull Mobile. We throw events from Vienna to Turkey to Cape Town. The whole concept behind the show is to provide a global platform for youth to interact. Our show is global.
What are your thoughts on the Cape Town International Jazz Festival?
For so long it has been an intergenerational music festival. They have showcased local artists with international artists.
I played with Goldfish the first time. However, this year I feel like I am playing the festival for the first time. I hope young people attend, too.