Monday, 27 May 2013

Beat Box: A beautiful voice from Birmingham

A few years back when I was completing high education sitting in an Afrikaans class with a beautiful slender figure of AyandaMasondo who genuinely loved exposing her smooth and soulful voice by singing songs by Brenda Fassie and LettaMbuli. Every time I entered the Afrikaans class I would be filled with excitement anticipating hearing the beautiful voice of a girl who could have been one of South Africa’s brightest musical stars.

Quite recently while surfing the internet for fresh musical talents across the globe, going through hundreds of discologies andYoutube music, and one dark female with a smooth soulful voice caught my attention.
The British soul and jazz artist Laura Mvula’s song ‘Like the morning dew’ caught my musical attention and led me to downloading few more songs by this stunning shy singer from the suburbs of Birmingham. The singer studied music under the guardianship of classical composer Joe Cutler who then introduced her to great music from music brains such asMessiaen and Michael Tippet and Pierre Boulez.

Mvula formerly wrote and sang with Black Voices an acapella band that was set up by her aunt and then went on to form a neo-soul group called Judyshouse were she was the lead singer and writing material for the group. Her music writing skills and sensational sweet soulful voice afforded her the opportunity to go solo and release a stunning album titled ‘Sing to the moon’ produced by Tom Elmhurst.

What I found with her debut album which was released in March is that it tells a cute story which at first I thought did not resonate with me, but listening carefully it got a bit of my heart. If Mvula did not take the route of spreading her music I don’t think we would have been exposed to a great British Voice.

‘Sing to the moon’ reached number nine on the UK Charts and within the top 100 in seven countries together with reaching 173 on the US Billboard 200. Such achievement in a relatively short time has certainly led Mvula to catch an ear.

Ashley Mokwena

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