I remember the sinking feeling I had after I read that popular house trio Mi Casa had narrowly survived splitting up.
Imagine their trendy, youthful and colourfully South African sound completely disappearing, as was the case with Rhythmic Elements, or another personal favourite of mine, Liquideep.
I briefly wondered if we’re nearing the era where groups as we know them, are gone.
Thankfully, Mi Casa survived and the bandmates J Something, Dr Duda and Mo-T have emerged on the other side stronger than ever.
Chatting to Mo-T, he tells me their brotherhood is healthier too.
“Mi Casa has been a beautiful journey. We’ve had so many good times and there was just the one year that was a bit shaky with us, where we had disagreements and miscommunication, and that’s where the group nearly broke up.
“We got to see that groups do have challenges, and they can be sorted out. It’s like being in a marriage, it won’t always be good. You have to go through challenges in order to get to know each other better. But you know, we’ve become brothers, friends and colleagues,” he said.
In the seven years of the brotherhood, there’d been some pretty amazing music.
That’s why it’s completely understandable that Mo-T cannot pick out his ultimate favourite Mi Casa song, but his favourite album is certainly their first.
“I’m glad you asked what my favourite album is, rather than song. It is definitely the first album that Mi Casa came out with that featured the hit song, 'These Streets'. That’s the one album I like so much because that album has no collaborations, we came out when no one knew who Mi Casa was.
“It just blew up because people were touched by the music. That was us saying ‘we are Mi Casa’ without us coming out with collaborations. That album is really so special in all our hearts, really,” Mo-T said.
Their latest album, 'Familia', seems to be almost perfectly titled, seeing as the band just found themselves strengthened as a family. It was released in last year, and lovers of the band’s music are enjoying it, too. Mo-T said the band’s evolution through the years had allowed them to produce this calibre of music because they’ve got better at their craft.
“We’ve rehearsed more, researched more sounds and it’s about us also allowing ourselves to learn from other musicians… It’s really not about trying to get the most records sold, but it’s really about the quality of our music… we’re doing what we love,” he said.
The band will be performing at the Luju Food and Lifestyle Festival to be held in Mbabane, Swaziland. Through its African vintage theme, Luju will celebrate Africa’s beauty and style, featuring food, drink, music, art and lifestyle experiences, as well as some of the most exciting musical performances from across southern Africa.
“We’ve performed twice or three times in the country and we’ve always been well received there. We can’t wait to go back again. To see that they’re mixing the food and music festival together, that’s the first for us in the country, so we’re looking forward to experiencing it,” said Mo-T.
He said the three of them would be travelling with their complete band and they were looking forward to having fun on stage. He said festivals like Luju were important.
“It’s a good platform to bring different cultures together. Just to celebrate the beauty we have in our music and food. These are two things that have the power to bring people together,” he said.
The band has been hinting at a top-secret new project. While Mo-T wouldn’t be drawn into explaining what it is because it’s still very much in its development phase, we’re just glad that the band is still cooking up some of that beautiful music that has formed an integral part of the soundtrack to our lives.
* Tickets for the Luju Food and Lifestyle Festival are still on sale at R350 for adults and R120 for children.