"WORLD MUSIC ON JET FUEL"
"WORLD MUSIC ON JET FUEL"
With the release of his ground-breaking debut solo album "Ownership," singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer Mthakathi steers the rock / world fusion movement into the realm of Safro Rock
Ownership (released under his a.k.a Ema) is a fiery 12 song, multi-culti mashup of finely crafted rock, vibrant African infusions & magnetic story-telling. Mthakathi's thought-provoking lyrics and dynamic voice are girded on each track by striking ethno-sonic landscapes packed with lush South African voices, dizzying percussion beds, searing guitar solos and soaring sax rides.
Ownership boasts an impressive roster of veteran musicians from the U.S. and Africa whose credits include touring and recording with rock legends Paul Simon, Sting and the Rolling Stones as well as South African luminaries Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Johnny Clegg.
Mthakathi's long standing immersion in South African culture and his magical cross-pollinating style earned him his endearing Zulu title by his South African muso family. The break-out single and video Jozi was deemed a "tribute to all things beautiful" by radio host Angela Ludik of Jo'burg's Radio 2000. Ownership stands as a magnificent bridge between the rock and African music realms; indeed that bridges keeper is Mthakathi.
MTHAKATHI "World Music On Jet Fuel"
Singer / songwriter, guitarist and producer Mthakathi, conjures up music that is undeniably and unflinchingly Rock, but belies a more unique and prismatic World sensibility. Drawing from a career-spanning immersion in South African culture, Mthakathi’s music reflects a keen absorption of eclectic world elements that explores expression beyond borders. In short it is, as one fan put it, “world music on jet fuel.” An innovative song-smith, compelling lyricist, arresting guitarist and a spell-binding performer, Mthakathi the "magic man," is a rock artist of world citizenry, one who defies the confines of simple categorization and smudges the boundaries of culture, genre and time.
Equally at home "clicking" in a traditional Xhosa song in rural South Africa as he is unleashing a scorching Strat solo in a NYC club, Mthakathi began his rock / world fusion adventurism touring and recording with many notable African artists in both, Africa and the US. The development of his signature, cross-pollinating style - combining diverse cultural elements to create music that is mesmerizingly unique and magically universal - eventually earned him his endearing Zulu name by his South African musical family
In 2008 Mthakathi released his first solo LP “Ownership” under his a.k.a. “Ema.” Recorded in his home state of New Jersey and in South Africa, Ownership is a fiery 12 song, multi-culti mashup of finely crafted rock, vibrant African infusions & magnetic story-telling. The album features a host of veteran African and American musicians who have logged in recording and touring stints with artists ranging from rock legends Paul Simon, Sting and the Rolling Stones to South African luminaries Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Johnny Clegg.
The break-out single and video Jozi was deemed "a tribute to all things beautiful" by radio host Angela Ludik of Jo'burg's Radio 2000 and Donald Paul, editor of Cape Town's The Big Issue proclaimed, "The Wizardry, very apparent on this album, proves it's been a worthwhile journey."
After “Ownership’s” South African campaign, Mthakathi returned to the US and established himself as a live-looping “wizard” performing solo shows across the Northeast US, mesmerizing audiences with his slick mastery of live-looping technology and sharp musicianship.
Continuing with his “World Music On Jet Fuel” reputation, Mthakathi has put together a fierce new band and has begun recording a new EP. Both the band and the new music promise to unleash an explosive brand of Afro/Rock synergy like never heard before.
The journey continues…
"Inspired impulse...Ema's love of Maskandi guitar is evident, making the album resound with a heartfelt essence"
-The Cape Times (Cape Town)
"Inspiring...Ema is impressive on a whole range of instruments!"
- The Johannesburg Citizen
The New Yorker
"A REAL exemplar of world music"
Brooks Spector - Radio Today (Johannesburg)
"Proficient, enthusiastic and versatile"
- New York Newsday
"The whole album [Ownership] is hugely impressive and extremely expressive to the maximum!"
Nadine Richardson - Chillers: African Magic TV (Continental Africa)
"...a gifted American multi-instrumentalist"
The Village Voice
"It's somewhat humbling, you have an American born musician from New York that probably knows more about South African music than many of the South African's listening to this show!"
Evan Milton - FMR Radio 101.3 (Cape Town)
"The wizardry, very apparent on this album, proves it’s been a worthwhile journey"
Donald Paul - The Big Issue (Cape Town)
"Intricate and hypnotic"
" Jozi is the track - a tribute to everything that's beautiful"
Angela Ludek - Radio 2000 (Johannesburg)