The Soil is a South African acapella trio whose music is a blend of contemporary township style and an eclectic mix of urban contemporary beatbox and soul. Since the release of their self-titled, double-platinum selling debut album in 2011 and the live follow-up Reflections: Live in Johannesburg in 2013, the group has won the hearts and minds of the musical world, receiving recognition, awards and critical acclaim from fans not only in South Africa but stretching across Europe, North America and Asia. Indeed The Soil has proven to be one of the few young South African bands capable of holding their own on the continent and beyond.
The band has also earned a loyal following across the globe, performing in 2013 for example at the Edinburgh Festival and the prestigious Apollo Theater in New York. In mid-2014 they toured England, Russia (including winning the White Nights of St. Petersburg International Music Competition) and China. In July 2015 the band’s hard work paid off with an exclusive UK distribution deal for the album with Proper Music Distribution, as well as support from leading booking agencies, Serious, who helped get them to perform at the Womad festival in the UK in July.
The Soil now returns with Nostalgic Moments, drawing its influence and strength from the sounds and music of the Sophiatown era, a centre of urban South African music and culture (before apartheid-era forced removals) that was instrumental in the enrichment local performance culture. Defined as ‘Kasi Soul’, the group’s music features an eclectic mix of genres, such as jazz, hip hop, Afro-pop and soul.
The group’s musical style is unique, as is evident on this album, and is characterized by rhythmic vocal basslines and constant beatboxing, while the remaining voices contribute to the choral and polyphonic accompaniment. The recording on this album continues with the group’s tradition of each member taking a solo vocal performance to display their most beautiful rendition of the melodic verses embedded in each song.
The platinum-selling album is one of the most popular in the country for 2015. Nominated for Record Of the Year (as well as Duo or Group of the Year and Best RnB/Soul/Reggae Album) at the SAMAs, the trio eventually lost out to Beatenberg. In June 2015 the band was nominated at the BET Awards in the US for Best International Act: Africa, alongside far more commercial acts in the form of AKA, Fally Ipupa (Dr Congo), Sarkodie (Ghana), Sauti Sol (Kenya), Wizkid (Nigeria), Yemi Alade (Nigeria) and eventual winner Stonebwoy (Ghana).
To The Soil, this album is the fruition of an ambitious vision, with music laced with ingenuity and intellectualism inspired by Sophiatown’s legacy lived yesterday, today and into the future. Watch out for hit tracks such as ‘Ndibambe Kanje’, ‘Hamba Uyosebenza’ featuring Grammy winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo, ‘We Are One (Celebrate Humanity)’ and ‘Susan’ featuring Khuli Chana, just to mention a few.
With Nostalgic Moments, The Soil continues on their quest to fuse their voices to deliver melodic and harmonious messages that are aimed at uplifting and healing souls all around the world and for all to enjoy. Rooted in Afro-centricity, the trio has carved a niche for themselves by expressing the fusion of cultures and genres that make up South Africa, never afraid to tap into nostalgia despite the pain of the past.
Buy the album from iTunes here.