Published on the 27th of May 2013 by The Herald
Constance van Niekerk in VEREENIGING, SA
They have been dubbed “South Africa’s hottest new duo”, they are fresh, they are rejuvenating, they are exquisite, they are the new kids on the block, they are Untamed. This is indeed the best collaboration to ever come out of the southern hemisphere in decades.
Untamed is offering something fresh, something new and an amazing musical invention.
The duo comprises of Zimbabwe’s Que Montana, also known as the African Prince of Afro-fusion and South Africa’s Velvet Lollita, the Goddess of Classical Music. The duo is releasing its debut self-titled 10-track album on June 3.
This one of a kind album was mixed by Freshly Ground’s engineer Gavan Eckhart and produced by Que with two songs produced by Zimbabwe’s talented DaddyIsh.
A brand new musical genre has been born, a captivating, exuberant fusion of intense, rich African rhythm with Western lavishness, an untamed genre that will take the listener on a stimulating and exhilarating musical journey.
The tracks are in isiZulu, English at times a mixture of both languages and one a mixture of Shona and English. The whole album is vibrant and each song a different, unforgettable experience.
“Mamela”, an isiZulu word that means “listen”, has a touch of reggae. “Distance” is a love song that says, “no matter where we are distance can never build a wall”. The song was sung in English and isiZulu. “Why” is a song that is unique, melodious, and classical at its best.
“I Will Not Forget You” is the song that is destined to rock the musical world.
The romantic piece was done in isiZulu and English. It is a song about a girl who had to leave her boyfriend and the guy is saying he will not forget her.
“Angeke”, a Zulu word that means “never” in English, is a fantastic mixture of English and isiZulu about a guy who meets a girl on the street and tries to charm her and the girl is saying “never, you are just wasting your time boy, I’ll never gonna love you”. The entire album is a gem. It is an album worth listening to.
“I think this is my best project ever, we worked really hard on it and I’m sure people who are going to listen to it will definitely enjoy the music,” says Africa’s Prince of Afro-fusion, Que.
Que, a very talented instrumentalist, singer, composer and music producer was born Brighton Kufa on November 1 in 1983. He is the last in a musical family of six. His brother, George, who is currently in the United Kingdom, taught him to play the guitar when he was at the tender age of seven, later on teaching him to play the piano, acoustic guitar, percussion and other instruments. George sang with his sisters and they disbanded when he left for UK.
“My mother’s side is where you get musicians. I know that most of my uncles were musicians though not on a professional level.
“Some of my cousins are studying music at university level. My closest cousin has just released her self-titled debut album ‘Tariro NeGitare’. The other is a music producer who calls himself ‘Nature’.
“I ended up giving lessons to my class in junior school because I was the only kid who played guitars and piano very well. Surprisingly, our teachers just knew the theory part and not the practical side. I also sang in choirs and played the piano at school functions and at every school assembly at Oriel Boys and Seke 1 High Schools,” said Que.
He added: “During my school days I was already performing and recording with prominent gospel artistes.”
Que played acoustic guitar for some artistes such as Roy and Royce and songbird Plaxedes Wenyika.
He shifted to secular music after Delani Makhalima introduced him to Tanga wekwaSando. He has also played with Africa Revenge, the late muzukuru Andy Brown, songstress Dudu Manhenga, the energetic Sandra Ndebele, X-tra Large and many others.
He later became a producer at Country Boy Records where he worked with Nonsi, Decibel, Major E and many others.
“Some of these projects were overlapping. “I played with multiple bands at the same time. Some I would stop and later resume. I worked at Egea with Ivy Kombo, Esther Mkazika and others for a short while then I went back to Africa Revenge which was my last band before I started releasing my own material,” said Que.
In 2005, Que released his debut album “Neo Vector” which had the track “Sei” whose video was quite popular on Zimbabwe’s small screen and “Huya Titaure”, a song that reached the number one spot on the charts.
“Neo means “new” and Vector “direction”, explained Que. “It is a 10-track album that was released at a time when a lot of young musicians were into urban grooves and I was bringing a whole different direction of music which you would not expect from someone my age.”
In 2007, he did it again with a nine-track album, “Sweet Pain”.
“Recording that album was really a struggle. It was during the time was the country was at the peak of its economical challenges.
“But the passion we had for music kept us going, thus ‘Sweet Pain’. On this project we released the first ever video in Zim that had 3D animation called ‘Swedera’.
“Also included is a song I collaborated with Chris Aka and Mau Mwale both from Zambia.
In 2009, Que released a nine- track album, “Untamed”. Then in 2011, “Strings Attached”. “On ‘Strings Attached’, my message was that I’m now ready; my strings are now attached on my guitar.
It’s the first project I felt that now the world can hear my music. On this album, I did collaborations with South American jazz maestro Bruno Migliari, Kapella T Silva, who is a hip-hop legend in Brazil, Dadou from DRC, just to mention a few.”
“I was now stepping on the international scene so I was saying I am ready. Strings Attached (now to my guitar).”
In August 2011, Que moved to South Africa. In 2012, he released, “Why Not?” in Zimbabwe.
Early this year, the gifted Que and singing sensation Velvet Lollita, formed the duo Untamed.
“Untamed is the name of our duo as well as our debut album because it best describes what our duo is about and our music. We are breaking boundaries, rules of music and stepping out of our comfort zone.” Lollita is a Tshwane University of Technology graduate with a degree in Vocal Art and has worked with various musical gurus such as SoulCafe, 4742 (a Rock Band), La Tren Salsa (a Spanish salsa group), Claudia Cox (folk music performer and songwriter) and Indian producer Tatra Kundaline to mention a few.
The duo is scheduled for a national tour in South Africa. They will perform in every province before going regional to countries such as Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia before touring Europe early next year.
Step aside kwaito, step aside sungura and step aside urban grooves. A new musical genre has arrived. It is amazing, refreshing, breathtaking and incredible.
“Untamed” has broken all boundaries, made new rules to give us a type of music that cuts across all borders, creed, boundaries and age.
It is freshly ground; it is wonderfully home brewed and it is Untamed.
Constance van Niekerk can be contacted by email on firstname.lastname@example.org