Is this the sound of a New Sou

Is this the sound of a New South Africa? Simply Soweto Encha wows London

Billed as “a five-piece a cappella group” singing gospel, soul, jazz, doo-woop, RnB in African and popular styles, Dumi, Jabu, Morgan, Lwazi and Sbu aka Simply Soweto Encha took to the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank foyer for the Africa Utopia Festival 2014

Is this the sound of a New Sou

Anyone that knows anything about South African music will know that this is nothing encha (new). The barber-shop style group are reminiscent of The Manhattan Bothers, who found fame during the 40s and 50s, and helped launch the careers of legends such as Miriam Makeba with their fusion of jazz, contemporary western musical influences with African choral and traditional harmonies.

Fast forward to 2014: you are more likely to hear a mix of Adele, Jessie J, The Beatles and Miriam Makeba with a Kwaito twist in Simply Soweto Encha’s repertoire. The boys from Simply Soweto Encha filled the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre with sounds both international and kasi-style local. Their track “Khumbulekhaya”, constructed entirely of the sounds of trains, is evocative of Hugh Masekela’s 1974 iconic “Stimela” and certainly did remind me of home.


If you missed them, you’ll be glad to know they’re giving away a copy of their new album, The Journey.

Win a signed album

Readers in London can win a signed copy of Simply Soweto Encha’s album simply answer the following question:

The group cover a famous South song called Pata Pata, but who sung the original?

Email your answer to:

To find out more about Simply Soweto Encha check out their website.

Watch Soweto Encha perform in Edinburgh: