British rock band Mumford & Sons played a few shows in South Africa late last year with touring mates Baaba Maal. There, they fell in love with a little place called Johannesburg and a little band who opened for them during the live shows – Beatenberg. That sparked a collaborative EP, aptly titled Johannesburg, with Baaba Maal, The Very Best and Beatenberg. The EP is currently the most downloaded album in the country at the moment, and the bands have just dropped the video for their new single ‘Wona’.
The song, and EP in general, is something special. Each band on the song brings their own unique influence and magically, it comes together beautifully. There is a strong African sound throughout the track and I love how each and every artist gets their time to shine. Marcus Mumford says the song came about after a listening session with Beatenberg sparked creativity. “Matt [of Beatenberg] came over to my hotel in Cape Town and we spent a couple of hours just listening to music. We played each other some songs we liked, then some of our own demos and ideas. We then sat down and wrote a rough chord structure of Wona together in a pretty short time. I haven’t done that much co-writing outside the band so it was good fun.” He continues “Then when we got to Jo’Burg we had some music to chuck into a song, and we spent the afternoon talking about what the song was about, recording the parts, and ended up writing a bunch of the lyrics after a few ales, just in time to record vocals. A bit of brinksmanship but it was proper organic the way it came out. Then Baaba just came in and smashed down my favourite thing he’s ever sung on a verse. Then we danced a lot.”
I literally can’t take the EP off repeat. Not only is the music spectacular, but seeing our local artists at the forefront of a global stage really warm our heart. I’m so excited to hear this song on radio and see it become the smash hit it deserves to be. What’s better is that Mumford & Sons’ ‘Johannesburg’ EP is available on iTunes for only R39.99. Value for money, eh?
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