1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Archive for the tag “PJ Powers”

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:

Advertisements

Raising My Family – Steve Kekana

Raising My Family – Steve Kekana (Parental warning)

Raising My Family – Steve Kekana

Raising My Family – Steve Kekana

Steve Kekana was probably best known in South Africa for his hit singles, ‘The Bushman’ and ‘Feel So Strong’, the latter of which was sung in collaboration with PJ Powers and Hotline. However, before white South Africa woke up to this talent, he was making waves abroad with ‘Raising My Family’ which was off his 1981 album ‘Don’t Stop The Music: Ungavumbi Zomculo’. The song went to number 2 in Finland, number 3 in Sweden and number 7 in Switzerland.

Kekana lost his sight when he was only 5 years old and, in a way, was the Stevie Wonder of South Africa, a talented and successful vocalist, overcoming the problems life had thrown at him. Singing in a distinctive falsetto voice, his early music was reggae tinged melodic pop set to a bouncy, post disco dance beat. There was also a tinge of the township jive to the music, but it was sufficiently ‘white’ to gain an audience outside of those ghettos.

‘Raising My Family’ is a tribute to the family and the support it gives and bounces along at a pleasant pace. Once he had established himself with the white audience, Kekana moved to singing in his native tongue. If the brief Wikipedia entry on him is to be believed, he has released over 40 albums, but I keep returning to the 1981 album and one of his classic tracks, ‘Raising My Family’.

Where to find it:
The English Album – Steve Kekana (2000), Gallo, CDRED630

Great South African Performers – Steve Kekana (2012), Gallo, CDPS 058

Live version: Concert In The Park (CD & DVD) – Various Artists (1985, 2010), BULA, DVDBULA237

Video:

Lyrics:

Raising my family
Raising my family
I really got to be me
Raising my family
In my own direction
In my own direction
Make the reconnection
In my own direction
uuuuh, with my family, uuh yeah

Yes, I’m gonna be OK
I guess, I’m gonna be alright
With my family here beside me
My family is here to guide me
Yes, I’m gonna be OK
I guess, I’m gonna be alright
With my family here beside me, day and night
uuh yeeah…. mmmh.. yehi yeah

Raising my family
Raising my family
I really got to be me
Raising my family
In my own direction
In my own direction
Make the reconnection
In my own direction
uuuuh, with my family, uuh yeah

Yes, I’m gonna be OK
I guess, I’m gonna be alright
With my family here beside me
My family is here to guide me
Yes, I’m gonna be OK
I guess, I’m gonna be alright
With my family here beside me, day and night
yeaah mmmm my family.. mmm..

Yes, I’m gonna be OK
I guess, I’m gonna be alright
With my family here beside me
My family is here to guide me
Yes, I’m gonna be OK
I guess, I’m gonna be alright
With my family here beside me, day and night

(Written by Tom Vuma & Malcolm Watson)

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: