They’ve become one of the most formidable acts to have ever come out of South Africa. Their music, such as the hits ‘Special Star’ and ‘Moments Away’, redefined the face of South African music and after a seven year hiatus, the band is back with their brand new album ‘Faces To The Sun’ which launches exclusively on iTunes and Apple Music today before it’s physical release on the 14th of November.
‘Faces To The Sun’ is an exciting two-disc project from the group. The record consists of 24 songs featuring nine brand new, original Mango Groove as well as 15 powerful and touching renditions of classic South African tracks, with collaborations with some of SA’s finest artists.
The record is Mango Groove’s first album in seven years and took four years to record. “The concept of the album started five years ago. We wanted to celebrate great South African songs and it was initially going to be a solo project,” Claire Johnston tells me. “It then mutated to a Mango Groove project but a lot happened in my personal life during that time. My mom died. John and I got divorced. It was a turbulent time but a lot of that energy fed into the album and made it an emotional final product.”
The album’s lead single is a track called ‘From The Get Go’ and has the signature Mango Groove sound the country has fallen in love with. Claire, however, tells me that the song came about in the most bizarre way. “We were asked to perform at a birthday party in Mozambique for an Australian man who moved to and fell in love with southern Africa. He wanted us to write him a song in honour of his birthday and his story inspired the song. We decided we really liked the song and it landed on the album.”
Because this is the group’s first album in seven years, Mango Groove wanted the album to be something special and ultimately decided to join forces with some of the biggest names in Africa which celebrates some of the best music to have come out of the country. “Since we were recording a tribute to some of our favourite South African songs, it made sense to use some of our favourite South African artists,” Claire said on the decision to make the tribute album a collaborative on as well. “We were very lucky that everyone we approached was up for it.” Mango Groove teamed up with the likes of Vusi Mahlasela, Kurt Darren, Rebecca Malope, Juanita Du Plessis and many more on this part of the album which promises to be something special.
The group celebrate their 31st anniversary in the music industry this year and have kept inspiring South Africans of all ages with their timeless music and hope to do the same with their brand new album. The group have performances lined up at Park Acoustics, Kirstenbosch Gardens on New Year’s Day, the Bok Radio Festival and are in the midst of planning a tour to support the new album as well.
‘Faces To The Sun’ is out on iTunes today for only R119,99 and includes the 24 tracks which will appear on the physical release next month as well. Go and support local music and get your copy today!
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