By Chelsea Haith
Be it late afternoons relaxing in the Kirstenbosch Gardens, summer nights spent dancing on the beach or 2am jams at Bassline in Newtown, Jack Kaminski’s Afro-Indie speaks to the heart of the South African music scene, ready to bring something from all over the continent to our dance floors. “Its always been the path I wanted to take my music,” Kaminski explained, “merging the ‘upbeatness’ of Folk and Indie with the rhythms of Afro-genres popular in South Africa and neighbouring countries.”
Fusing African instrumentation with an upbeat indie guitar, Kaminski’s musical training in Ethnomusicology and Sound Engineering at Rhodes University lends itself to his forthcoming intricate weaving of the mbira, djembe and marimba with folk and indie guitar. Overlaying the carefree sound, his husky vocals suggest an old soul voice that belies the twinkling blue eyes and quick humour that characterises his stage presence.
Using African choral styles, drums and kwela style to augment his sound, Kaminski’s eight years of training as a drummer and brilliant self-taught guitar talent ring through across the tracks on his debut EP Brotherland. Of particular note are the tracks ‘Tell Fire to the Rhino’ and the eponymous ‘Brotherland’ which is guaranteed to have crowds singing, clapping along and dancing their asses off.
Currently residing in Maputo, Mozambique, solo artist Kaminski is putting together a band to tour across Southern Africa, promoting Brotherland, recorded at Watts Productions, Johannesburg. Originally from the City of Gold, Kaminski draws on diverse musical influences from Southern and Western Africa to South Africa’s own Johnny Clegg and Paul Simon’s iconic Graceland album with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Threading these much-beloved styles with the South African indie dance sound popularised by Beatenberg and Shortstraw, Kaminski’s debut EP is socially conscious and deeply rooted in SA’s musical and social history.
You can hear Kaminski’s fusion of sound here: