By CityLIfe Arts Writer
iPhupho L’ka Biko, the highly acclaimed Africanist experimental jazz band, is thrilled to announce the release of their debut EP, “Azania,” on June 30th, 2023. Following the success of their two acclaimed singles, “Abaphezulu”, released through Brownswood Recordings, and uThixo uKhona, released through Alt Blk>> in 2021, the band has dedicated the past year to recording and producing this eagerly awaited EP.
Azania delves into a rich tapestry of themes that are close to the hearts of the band members, including spirituality, Pan Africanism, freedom, love, ritual, tradition, culture, and displacement. The EP showcases iPhupho L’ka Biko’s unique musical fusion, blending jazz with indigenous African music of imvumane in tracks like Qamata, and infusing jazz with gospel influences in songs like Singabakho. This eclectic approach reflects the fluidity and diversity of the band’s sound, promising an immersive and captivating musical journey.
The band’s dynamic sound has been honed and perfected through their numerous live performances across the country, which have garnered them a devoted and loyal fan base. iPhupho L’ka Biko’s ability to connect with audiences through their energetic and soul-stirring performances has elevated them to become one of Johannesburg’s most revered musical collectives.
“Azania the EP is an introduction of iPhupho L’ka Biko to the world, marking the beginning of a new era,” shares Nhlanhla Ngqaqu, the band’s founder and composer.
“We express our gratitude to the Almighty naBadala for guiding us on this path. As we celebrate the band’s 7th year of existence, a number symbolizing completion, we believe this EP couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune time and moment”.
With the release of Azania, iPhupho L’ka Biko invites music lovers and enthusiasts to embark on a transformative musical experience that merges genres, cultures, and ideologies. The EP promises to captivate audiences with its unique blend of African rhythms, jazz improvisations, and thought-provoking themes, setting the stage for iPhupho L’ka Biko’s journey into the global music scene.