Urban Village

Bio

When you have never known you’re the village of origin, how do you find your roots? For the four musicians of Urban Village, who have known only their gigantic township of Soweto, these traditional roots hidden by buildings and concrete are the source of their music.

Soweto, with its million inhabitants, is a city in the city where the black populations from all the South African provinces were penned by apartheid. Attracted by "the city of gold" (Egoli, the Zulu name for Johannesburg), they came to dig the belly of the earth on behalf of the big companies, and formed the first urban proletariat in Africa. Everyone took pieces of their village, their music and their rites to this new town, this new home and from this friction, an original culture was born, that which made Soweto a sprawling urban village. Whilst, others are still digging for that precious metal, the four companions of Urban Village have decided to dig up these mixed legacies of which they are the heirs and share them through music.

Born for the most part in the last years of apartheid, they, like all adolescents of their generation, plunged happily into house and dance music that turned the page of a past too heavy, and offered a new skin. But the past had other secrets, carpeted at the corner of the streets of Mzimhlophe, the Soweto neighbourhood where they lived. Because it was there, around a workers' home, that Lerato the guitarist heard the Zulu musicians and their very particular style, called maskandi. Something to put him on the track, observing and listening to the "Malumes (Uncles)", that is to say the neighbours of the neighbourhood. Lerato learned his instrument on his own, mixing styles from homelands and rural areas to make his own, sharpened in club jam sessions where spoken word, hip-hop and jazz rub shoulders freely. It was in this universe that he met Tubatsi, to which he entrusted a flute and all the dreams it can open, like that of the flute player of Hamelin. The man who soon became the lead singer of Urban Village tamed him, and ended up quitting his job at the bank to jam with the guitarist. He also begins to write, and penned the lyrics of most of the songs on their debut album “Udondolo (Walking Stick)”. This colossus planted like an untamed tree likes to navigate dreamlike spheres, a veteran bugler bugle, PVC rhombes, sanza or even electronic effects making his microphone a surreal vessel for his voice ... Tubatsi seeks in all kinds of instruments the vibrations that resonate with the soul.

In South Africa, music has always been a vector of spiritual as well as political resistance and in the dark hours of apartheid, this powerful mixture took shape in the shadows of churches. This is where Xolani (aka Cush) formed and continues to play drums every Sunday, pushing the faithful into a trance like percussionists do in ancestral ceremonies. God and...

Posts

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Urban Village added a new video

Urban Village - LIVE at Sognage - Nov 2021
Urban Village's picture

Urban Village added a new track

Track artwork
Urban Village
Izivunguvungu (Chloé Remix)
Deezer
Urban Village's picture

Urban Village added a new track

Track artwork
Urban Village
Through Life Changes
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Music

Track artwork
Urban Village
Through Life Changes
03:48
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Track artwork
Urban Village
Umhlaba Wonke
03:40
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45
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Urban Village
Empty K-Set
02:24
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28
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Urban Village
Makolo Yanga
05:38
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35
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Urban Village
Inkani
04:25
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38
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Urban Village
Umuthi
04:04
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40
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Urban Village
Marabi
04:20
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49
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Urban Village
Sakhisizwe
03:05
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40
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Urban Village
Madume
04:21
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32
Track artwork
Urban Village
Ubusuku
04:12
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33
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Urban Village
Ubaba
04:37
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74
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Urban Village
Dindi
03:09
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32
Track artwork
Urban Village
Izivunguvungu
04:17
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170
Track artwork
Urban Village
Izivunguvungu (Chloé Remix)
06:24
Deezer
Track artwork
Urban Village
Sakhisizwe
02:44
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Like
142
Track artwork
Urban Village
Ubaba (Radio Edit)
03:57
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59

Videos

Urban Village - LIVE at Sognage - Nov 2021
Urban Village - Through Life Changes
Urban Village - Umuthi
Urban Village - Ubusuku
Urban Village - Marabi
Urban Village - Makolo Yanga
Urban Village - Madume
Urban Village - Inkani
Urban Village - Empty K-Set
Urban Village - Dindi (Official video)
Urban Village - Umhlaba Wonke (Audio video)
Urban Village - Ubaba (Official Video)

Photos

ZAJohannesburg, South Africa
In operation since: 
2014

Contact

+27641282045
Jess White

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