Do I agree with the statement? Absolutely not! I think that South African music has reached new heights these past few years and that is mainly owing to the talent and aspiration of our local performers.
We have such a large variety of bands and just off the top of my head I could list a few which stand out to me…Flat Stanley, the Dirty Skirts, the Beams, Goldfish and Watershed. But the band that stands out to me the most as far as accomplishments are concerned is Freshly Ground.
Freshly Ground has been around since 2002. The fact that they are a multiracial band highlights their exclusive originality and diversity as a whole, not to mention their unique afro jazz music which has allowed this band to gain publicity and recognition for their music in just seven short years.Freshly Ground is not only renowned and loved in South Africa. They have a large following overseas and have travelled and performed in Japan, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Germany. A few of their many accomplishments include opening for Robbie Williams' South African tour in 2006 as well as winning the Best African Act Award at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Copenhagen in 2006. Last year Freshly Ground won four SAMA awards including Album of the Year, Duo / Group, Engineer and Adult Contemporary Album.
This brings me to my next point, for a country that has only been a democracy for merely 15 years I feel that our music industry is not just in a great place but is booming too. The fact that we have our own music awards to celebrate the success of our artists highlights the rapid pace at which bands and artists are producing music of such high quality. Last year we celebrated the 14th Annual South African Music Awards which recognises the accomplishments of both groups and individuals in this industry.
Another point I would like to raise is that so often when famous singers and bands come from overseas to perform in South Africa, it is our local bands which open for them on the night, giving our bands great exposure and allowing the overseas artists to see the incredible talent these South African bands posses.
But, Freshly Ground is just one example of many of our bands who have excelled in their prespective division of our ever increasing music industry. I feel that we as South Africans should not only encourage our artists with continuous support, but be proud of their achievements and celebrate their successes with them.