Simunye Sound

Members:

Olivia Brian (singer, djembe)
Freya Morgan (singer, guitar)
Adrian Young (singer, guitars)
Connor O’Neill (bass)
Nic Mackay (singer, rapper)
Lucy O’Grady (singer)
Sarah Boulle (singer)

Connections Choir:
Mnqobi Khumalo (choir leader)
Eddison Nhlanhla Jila, aka BASS (choir leader)
Khanyo Chamane
Nonhlanhla Chamane
Mabongi Giyose
Joe Khumalo
Thandekile Luswazi
Bongani Mchurlu, aka ‘Tall’
Nathi Mhlongo
Senzo Mokoena
Muzi Ndlovu
Thabane Ngubane, aka ‘T. Bos’
Sihle Njapha, aka ‘Peto’
Zonke Nyathikazi
Zipho Phewa
Nomvula Phungula
Nobuhle Shangase, aka ‘Mga’
Mqondisi Shozi
Sibusiso Vilakazi, aka ‘Sbu’

Support Crew:

Matt Campbell
Mike Nelson
Sphe Khumalo
Nkululeko Nzama

A team of seven young Australian musicians traveled to South Africa to spend two weeks writing and recording a collaborative album with a Zulu Choir. The trip aimed to unite musicians across borders, cultures and languages and to create a powerful album of songs that carry messages of social justice, hope and unity.

 

The Zulu choir, called Connections, is based in a rural area called Kwa Nuyswa, situated between Durban and Pietermaritzburg in the Valley of a Thousand Hills region. This developing region is challenged by high rates of poverty, unemployment, crime, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS. More than 60 percent of the population in this region is HIV-Positive, and a high proportion of children are orphaned due to the HIV/AIDS crisis.

The participating Australian musicians, who came from Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland, were carefully selected from a pool of applicants, and they all demonstrated outstanding musical ability in their relevant area, plus a desire to use their skill and passion for music to make a difference in the world. The team, all of whom are aged under 26, included a bass player, an electric guitarist, an acoustic guitarist, and djembe drummer, a rap artist and singers covering varying styles including pop, funk rock, folk, punk and Irish.

Together Connections Choir and the Australian team formed the group ‘Simunye Sound’. Over a two week period the group wrote and recorded seven amazing songs – all of which are a mix of Australian and South African sounds and musical styles. The lyrics are in both Zulu and English, and the songs range from rap that mixes Australian Hip Hop with South African Kwaito to songs that merges traditional Zulu music with punk-rock Australian vocals, deep bass lines, beautiful duets to lovely ballads this unique experiance has uncovered truly an amazing new sound that is well worth the listen!