1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Feel So Strong”

Wozani – Hotline

Wozani – Hotline

Wozani – Hotline

Wozani means come here and its an apt title for a song that lures you into its clutches through seductive beats, hypnotic keyboards and a voice dipped in honey and whiskey. It had been 4 years since PJ Powers and Hotline burst on to the scene with their anthemic ‘You’re So Good To Me’ and 3 years since PJ sent chills down our spines with her awesome vocals on Hotline’s cover of The Beatles’ ‘Help’.

But then in 1983 (the following year) with the release of ‘Music For Africa’, there was a change in direction for the band. No longer were they a straight rock band, they were a South African rock band. Perhaps it was their wonderful pop duet with Steve Kekana, ‘Feel So Strong’ that sent them in new directions, but when you listen to the title and opening track to their 5th album, they had matured into this new sound and we were all comfortable with it.

‘Wozani’ has the circular rhythm of Zulu songs and also features the deep voiced Mathlathini style backing vocals repeating the title while PJ’s powerful vocals work their own magic on you. It is a song to immerse yourself in. The lyrics talk of simple times, of a man coming home to his wife and her inviting him to come and eat. The tune is not complex, neither is the subject matter which gives the song a feel good factor.  So, wozani and listen to this one.

Where to find it:
The Best Of P.J. Powers & Hotline – P.J Powers & Hotline (1991) Mike Fuller Music Records, PJCD300

Video:

Feel So Strong – Steve Kekana & Hotline

Feel So Strong - Steve Kekana & Hotline

Feel So Strong – Steve Kekana & Hotline

Sometimes when big named stars get together to record a duet the results are not that great and do not add up to the sum of the parts. Perhaps it is competing egos that result in the disappointing output, who knows. However when the local talents of PJ Powers and Hotline got together with our own Stevie Wonder, Steve Kekana, the result was not disappointing.

Written by PJ, ‘Feel So Strong’ is a song that jammed rock and township with a bit of gospel organ thrown in for good measure into 7 inches of vinyl brilliance and this is all coated in a thick layer of pop sensibility. The result is a catchy tune that rocks and you can dance to.

Despite the obvious contravention of Apartheid laws (a white woman and black man singing a song where the lyrics hint at a relationship across the colour bar – ‘I’ve never felt like this before/but being alone isn’t scary anymore’) the song got heavy rotation on the radio stations and climbed to number 6 on the Springbok Radio top 20. It was perhaps the use of phrases such as ‘I never thought I’d find a friend quite like you’ that made the censors think they were just friends.

Given Kekana’s European successes (he charted in Finland, Sweden and Switzerland) it is not too surprising that he and Hotline performed the song on the German Television music show Musikladen (see the Youtube video link below). Together they were beautiful and made beautiful music that rocked our world. Powers to the people who ‘Feel So Strong’.

Where to find it:
Various Artists – The Best of SA Pop Volume 3 (1994) GSP, CDREDD 610

Video:

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