Mango Groove became pioneers of the South African music industry as we know it. They were one of the first acts to integrate black and white musicians together and celebrated what it means to be South African instead of letting politics divide them. Their proudly South African approach has helped the group create a unique sound and their passion for celebration helped them craft smash hits like ‘Special Star’, ‘Dance Some More’, ‘Hellfire’, ‘Move Up’, and many more. The group has some exciting performances to celebrate 30 years since the release of their debut album, including two shows at Montecasino’s The Teatro.
When asked why she thinks the group is still relevant today, lead singer Claire Johnson tells us that “We were lucky enough to make a very big impact at a time of massive change in South Africa and, as a result, seemed to have become part of the country’s soundtrack. Music is so closely associated with memory and I think that’s often what makes people feel good. Also we have huge fun on stage and feed off our audiences and it’s such a positive experience for us.”
Essentially, Mango Groove’s self-titled debut album changed the game and went on to become one of the highest selling records of all time in South Africa and currently sits at 25x platinum status. After the release of this incredible record, the group has gone on to release ‘Hometalk’, ‘Moments Away’, ‘Another Country’, ‘Nice to See You’, ‘Bang the Drum’ and their latest album release ‘Faces to the Sun’.
The group amassed an array of accolades throughout their 30 year career, however, there are a few which stand out to Claire. “My fondest memories of Mango Groove is when our first album reached platinum status. It was a massive achievement and to see it still do so well is incredible. Another highlight was the first time we travelled abroad but the most emotional highlight so far has been the 1994 inauguration of Nelson Mandela. It was a time of huge optimism and celebration and a performance we will never forget.”
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