Gallo Record Company’s new initiative, Gallo Remixed, celebrates the record label’s 95th birthday by releasing an EP that shines a light on their rich catalogue, choosing four artists to work alongside Grammy-nominated producer and DJ, Black Coffee, by reimagining treasured African songs from Gallo’s catalogue for a new audience. Artists Sun El Musician, Da Capo, Muzi, Mpho Sebina and Nobuhle all feature on the first Gallo Remixed EP, Music Is Forever, available to stream from the 17th of December across digital platforms.
After Black Coffee acquired a stake in Gallo Record Company, the longest-running independent recording label and music publisher in Africa, that also manages the largest catalogue of African music in the world, his first order of business was to go about shining a spotlight on that catalogue. It was not too long after this that Gallo Remixed was born, an initiative that has allowed Africa’s future music stars to pull classic songs from Gallo Record Company’s rich archives and remix them, allowing for fresh musical takes on treasured fan favourites.
The first full Gallo Remixed EP titled, Music Is Forever, serves as the fruit of this labour calling upon DJ Da Capo and Muzi, singers Mpho Sebina and Nobuhle, and producer and DJ Sun El Musician, to pool their talents and re-introducing us to African songs we’ve grown to hold dear to our hearts.
Muzi: Brenda Fassie’s “Too Late for Mama”, originally composed and written by Sello “Chicco” Twala in 1989, was chosen by Botswanan singer-songwriter Mpho Sebina, who paid homage to the legacy of the foundation of South African Afro-pop in her rendition. In a rare and poignant combination of house and maskandi, self-taught producer and DJ Da Capo, joined forces with Maskandi legend Phuzekhemisi to remake “Imbizo”, and the result is a blend of textured indigenous sounds, fused with tribal ancestral vocal elements and drums that sounds a call to the dance floor. Standing as one of the best-selling singles by a South African artist to date, Brenda Fassie and Chicco Twala’s smash hit “Vulindlela” has been reimagined by lauded Afrohouse producer Sun El Musician, and R&B songstress Nobuhle, with the duo delivering a refreshed Pan-African version with an all-encompassing production aesthetic while staying true to the nostalgia of the original.
Sun El Musician: As one of the most celebrated jazz recordings from South Africa, Winston “Mankunku” Ngosi’s 1968 classic “Yakhal’Inkomo” inspired poems, artworks and countless thought-pieces, and was chosen by electronic DJ and producer Muzi to reimagine. Breaking out of his comfort zone and flexing his sampling skills, Muzi’s version is a funk-rooted one that revamps a jazz standard for a new audience. Home to some of Africa’s most beloved music legends including Miriam Makeba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lucky Dube, Oliver Mtukudzi, Thandiswa Mazwai, Simphiwe Dana, Mahlathini, Mahothella Queens, Caiphus Semenya and countless more, this first EP is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the creative opportunities that lie down the Gallo Remixed road.
Music Is Forever was released on 17 December 2021, across global streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal, Youtube Music as well as Beatport and Traxsource for DJ’s.
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