Music Band “Mahotella Queens” Essay


World music is a type of music that incorporates different musical styles from all over the world. It includes both non-traditional and traditional music, and sometimes there is a fusion of more than a single cultural tradition. It is simply music from the local areas. It is performed using various traditional instruments, such as the steel drum. Mahotella Queens was a world band of its time (Feld 45). The band took South Africa and the whole world by storm during the 1970s. As much as they had the vocals, their type of music attracted all types of the audience. The goal of this paper is to describe the band and its music as world music. It will analyze and describe the attributes that make the band a world band and describe it in detail with including its achievements.

The Name and Description of Band and Its Origin

Mahotella Queens is a pop group in South Africa. The group took over South Africa in the 1970s, and they are still making music today. Their music is a hybrid blend. It is a mixture of various African genres of music. They mixed the traditional South African music with pop to develop Mbaqanga. Mbaqanga is a mixture of South African jazz, gospel, souls, blues, and South African traditional music. The group has created a great sound that is harmonized with the superb vocals (Mojapelo 210).

The group was formed in the 1960s and was led by Nkabinde’ Mahlathini. The musical group was loved all over South Africa due to its numerous performances all over the country. They did modernize the South African music scene. They were also loved because their songs were soothing to the oppressed people of South Africa. It was during the Apartheid.

Mahotella Queens produced the best music in South Africa at that time. The members of the band had marvelous voices and mixed them into a tune. They also knew how to do a live performance that left the audience craving for more. They knew how to dance to their rhythms. The group consisted of Nobesethu Mbadu, Hilda Tloubatla, and Mildred Mangxola. Their music was later called the “indestructible Beat of Soweto” (Feld 241).

The Queens disappeared from the music scene for a while in the mid-1970s. The period was a time for their break so that they could settle down to their families. They came back later in 1987, where they joined Mahlathini for a tour in the U.S.A and Europe. Their audience loved them. The band has had many tragedies. Mark Mankwane, the lead guitarist, died in 1998. The death of the group’s partner was the greatest hit that made them stop singing for a while. Mahlathini died in 1999.

Having a desire to keep Mahlathini’s spirit alive, they came back to the music industry again (Mojapelo 262). They came back with new strategies developing their various skills of being arrangers, writers, and soloists. The group developed its music and went on world tours. The band Queens was successful in the music career. It has received various awards. The Queens received WOMEX (Worldwide Music Expo) Award in 2000 for contributing tremendously to World Music.

The band had many recordings over the years, with its first hit coming out in 1964. By the mid-80s, they were everyone’s favorites. They formed a band with other World Music artists such as Regis Gizavo. In 2001, the band released an album as a dedication to Mahlathini. The group decided to incorporate other international ideas in the album. In 2004, the Queens mixed electric music with their Mbaganga to release “Bazobuya” and it was closely followed by “Reign & Shine” in 2005 (Feld 48).

The Queens also did an acapella album. The album is beautifully done. It is accompanied by traditional instruments and is for the sole purpose of educating people on social and moral issues. The last album is Kazet that has various international additions (Mojapelo 212). They experimented with various styles. The album is a gospel album, and it shows that the trio is talented no matter what kind of music they decide to do. Gospel is the most often sold genre of music in South Africa. It is also quite popular, loved, and accepted by many people. The album acts as a marketing strategy. It is a form of a thanksgiving album meant to inspire its listeners.

How the Band Earned Its Royalty Status

The trio earned their music royalty status. The representatives of the band appeared to be real queens of the scene. Their music is widely spread all over the world and they have many fans. Whenever they have a show, the halls are usually filled to capacity. They have earned their recognition through their creative minds, tireless hard work and ability to hold out against challenges. They are considered to be the world artists. The band took the South African sound all over the world mixing it with the pop music. The music of Queens is more traditional than western music (Feld 245). Their genre of music has a little urban pop, but most of it is from the South African tribes’ music. They truly represented the traditional South African culture. They are known all over the world and they are continuously captivating their audience. They had performances all over the world including U.S.A, Europe and Switzerland.

The Mahotella Queens are truly world artists. They represented Africa to the music world and now they are known everywhere. The music genre of the band is a mix of South African tribe and pop, this kind of music is called Mbaganga. This is a genre of music is unique and is truly original and African. The band’s afro-pop music albums are loved by many people and are spread out all over the world. Though, they are from the 1960s, they are still taking the world by storm with their good music. We will listen to this music even in future.

Works Cited

Feld, Steven. My Life in the Bush of Ghosts: ‘World Music’ and the Commodification of Religious Experience. Indiana, U.S.A: Indiana U. Press, 2011. Print.

Feld, Steven. Notes on “World Beat”. Chicago, U.S.A: Chicago University Press, 1994. Print.

Mojapelo, Max. Beyond Memory: Recording the History, Moments and Memories of South African Music. Oxford, OX: African Minds, 2008. Print.

Music Band “Mahotella Queens”

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