Veteran South African band Mango Groove are due to release their first new material in seven years. The double album, titled Faces to the Sun, is set for release on 28 October. The album marks the return of an Afropop band that broke barriers in the 1980s and 1990s by becoming one of South Africa's first major multi-racial bands. The group symbolised the triumph of democracy after the end of apartheid, with upbeat tunes like 'Special Star'. The post-apartheid era was also captured in the reflective ballad 'Another Country'.
The album comprises 24 songs, includes 9 all-new, original Mango Groove tracks and also features 15 powerful and touching renditions of classic South African songs, with collaborations with some of the country's finest artists. The new material celebrates Mango Groove's skillful penmanship, with the lead single entitled 'From The Get Go'. Other stand-out tracks include 'The Beautiful Kind' and the title track 'Faces To The Sun'.
Lead singer Claire Johnston said: "Wow, this really was a project of the heart for us: over four years in the making, a host of new songs we are really proud of, and at the same time a chance to celebrate our favourite SA songs from the last few decades."
The collaborations are with legendary and new artists alike, adding their voices to classic songs like 'Mmalo We', 'Malaika' and 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'. Featured artists include Rebecca Malope, Vusi Mahlasela and Mo T from Mi Casa.
Band member John Leyden said: "The choice of collaborators was a very personal process for us, and we feel hugely honoured and privileged that so many great South African artists chose to celebrate this project with us. We chose iconic South African artists that have been part of our own musical journey and whose amazing voices suited our interpretations of the songs, but at the same time, we also worked with a couple of new and exciting contemporary artists that brought their own magic to the tracks."
Johnston said: "In many ways, for Mango Groove the Faces to the Sun project was about much more than music, as it was about celebrating being South African in all its many forms. In essence, the two CDs are really just different sides of the same coin.
The new album will be released by Warner Music South Africa. MD Tracy Fraser said: "Mango Groove is quite simply South African music royalty. We are very excited to help write the next chapter in their incredible story."