If you like your sounds well crafted, meaningful, and opinionated, then The CITY is for you. Skilled, outspoken and poised to strike, they move beyond sound and shuffles into a realm of political and thought exploration.
We chatted to them ahead of the launch of their long-awaited EP.
Exploring narratives through sound seems to be a big part of your sound?
Yes, a big part of our ethos as a band is to incorporate our tradition and heritage in our music. We do this through using klopse(cape minstrel) rhythms, traditional African jazz harmony and Zulu lyrics. We are not obviously political band in terms of lyrical content but we try to tell our stories, which in itself is a conscious statement.
You’ve really crafted your first EP – how has the 3-year journey been?
The journey has been challenging but also a learning experience for everyone involved. We had the pleasure of working with two of Cape Town’s finest producers, Ross McDonald and Graham Ward.
Together, we broke each song apart with the intent of exploring the different ways to better express the melodies and lyric. This process was frustrating at times but in the end we managed to get the songs sounding as close to what we were feeling when we started working on the EP.
Are you nervous about the big release?
We are extremely excited to be able to share this music with everyone. We want everyone attending the launch to feel in a space where they are comfortable and encouraged to be free and get down to our collective groove.
Do you think Cape Town has had a role in shaping your sound?
Of course. Three of our members are Capetonian and proudly so. We are very aware of our heritage and we make a point of honouring our ancestors and the beautiful music they passed down to us.
Where can people get the EP?
The EP will be available to purchase on ITunes, Xbox Music, Google Play, Deezer, Shazaam, Rdio and Spotify. We will also have CDs for sale at live gigs.
How do you feel about the recent statue saga?
We’re all in support of the #RhodesMustFall movement and are very excited about the discussions that it has brought up in our Universities, country and the world. It is so beautiful to watch young people making a stand against social injustice, we are all very involved with the black conscious movement in our personal lives and discuss these issues constantly. It took a long time for people to realise that social unrest and activism does not necessarily mean civil war and we're excited to be a part of the awakening of the African identity.
Where to next?
A short tour to promote the EP in JHB, DBN, PE. Start working on our full length album and do a short international tour in the next year.
If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Bonj – I would be an aspiring actress doing a whole lot of Theatre work….
Ryan is a qualified graphic designer. We do all feel that music is our vocation though and that God/the universe created us for the purpose of expressing his beauty through music.
It’s 2020 – who are you collaborating with?
Spoek Mathambo, HHP, Casper Nyovest, Bongo, Muffin, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Little Dragon, Gorillaz , Taylor McFerrin, Daft Punk and the list goes on….
Lastly, sum up your sound using one of your lyrics…
Our sound will “Blow your mind, & release your inner child”
Photography by Deidre Hewitson.