We are very excited to announce the arrival of TheCity to the music scene with the release of the debut EP. TheCity are a 4-piece FUTURE AFRO band who have talent in abundance and a super special sound that the are hoping all South Africans will enjoy. We caught up with them ahead of their EP launch next Friday, 24th April, at The Imperial (CT), take a look at what they have to say:
TheCITY is an evolving musical statement between an unlikely group of musicians. We take the common musical language of our generation – pop, hip-hop and electronica – and tell a different story with it. A story that tells where we’re from and what we’ve been through. Sometimes the story includes Zulu lyrics, cowbells or an extraordinary event… but whatever the case may be, we proudly embrace it and create our own, authentic interpretation through our music. This, along with our firm belief in bringing the audience a stellar live show is what we’re all about.
We’ve been close friends for many years, playing together in various other bands, but never in our own. Around 2010, we finally decided to turn our original ideas into something tangible we can all enjoy.
Dum dum dum!
And the band was born. Although we’ve worked with award-winning producer Ron Feemster, with Goodluck, Jack Parow,Chad Saiman, Captain Stu, The Rudimentals and a long list of other talented artists, the band was only truly cemented when our final member joined us in 2012. Playing at Synergy Live was exhilarating, well-received and the perfect beginning for our Afro-urban-electro fusions. 2013 saw us taking on Synergy Live again, as well as MCQP, Under the Tree and other local festivals and events.
The band has four members: Clement Carr on keys and synth, Bonj Mpanza doing lead vocals and percussion, Ryan McArthur on bass and Ruby Crowie on drums and samples. Together we form a unique, tight-knit crew. Future Afro.
MA: Hi guys, its a pleasure to be chatting to you!! Before we get started, please tell us about yourselves…a bit of a background on how TheCITY got started and where you guys met.
Clem and Ryan have been friends since high school and were involved in a punk ska band called Captain Stu. Ruby and Bonj met each other while studying Jazz at The South African College of Music. We all played in different other projects before finally deciding to play and make music together as TheCITY.
MA: Would you care to introduce us to the band members please.
The band consists of singer and songwriter Bonj Mpanza, Clement Carr on Synthesizers and Keys, Ryan McArthur on bass and Reuben “Ruby” Crowie on drums and samples.
MA: How would you describe your “sound”?
We’re a Future Afro Pop act. Our sound is afro pop with hip-hop, soul and electronica influences.
MA: What would you say are some of your biggest influences and inspirations as a band?
Bongo Muffin, Spoek Mathambo, Zaki Ibrahim, Stevie Wonder, ThunderCat, Little dragon.
MA: To date, what has been your best gig / achievement as musicians/band?
Our biggest achievement would be finally getting this EP out, and recently being asked to play at The 16th Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
MA: You will be dropping your debut EP on the 24th April. Is there a plan for a few EP launch events?
We’re planning on doing a tour to JHB, DBN to promote this EP.
MA: What are your thoughts on the local music scene at the moment?
There is healthy growth in south african musicians trying interesting new ideas and artists are making the effort to put on their own shows but the commercial infrastucture support i.e. venues to perform at has taken a knock over the last decade, but we stay positive.
MA: Are you working on any other projects that we might be interested in?
We’re all always working / collaborating with different artists / producers. For instance, Bonj recently worked on an EP with Cape Town electronic producer Card On Spokes, Clem plays synth, keys and sax in popular electro swing act The Kiffness, Ryan plays bass for Jeremy Loops, Sannie Fox and The Shabeen and Ruby is currently producing his electronic material as well as plays drums for singer / songwriter Jimmy Nevis.
MA: Where can people follow you guys?
MA: Finally, if you could open for any band/artist in the world, who would that be for?
We’d love to set the stage up for one of our favourite bands, Little Dragon.
Thank you for taking the time to read this interview feature with these talented musicians. Looking forward to big thing from them!!!
*Photo Credits to: Deirdre Hewitson