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Sotho Sounds – “Ha Kele Monateng”
Sotho Sounds are an extraordinary group from the Kingdom of Lesotho, a landlocked enclave surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. Not only is their sound inventive and original, their instruments are entirely made from recycled materials. Guitars are made from tin-cans and bicycle wire as found objects are reinvented into handcrafted instruments by the band. Their latest album, Junk Funk, is available now on Riverboat Records/World Music Network.
The band met while they were shepherding in the beautiful hills of Lesotho. They sing about everyday life and draw inspiration from the sounds around them. Accordions, whistles, jangly guitars, shattering percussion and swinging vocals reveal an honest, back to roots approach from Sotho Sounds. You can hear the influence of Basotho traditional music and South African pop, especially the bubblegum pop stylings of Brenda Fassie, in their “junk funk” grooves.
Sotho Sounds are also the most eclectically dressed band I’ve ever seen. Watch their video entitled “Turning Junk into Funk” below or on youtube to witness their wild style. Pink wigs, gumboots, rainbow-framed shades and traditional Basotho blankets are just some of their wardrobe choices. They appear more like Funkadelic than an acoustic band of shepherds from Lesotho. “Ha Kele Monateng” translates to “When I’m Happy” in English and is an upbeat number with catchy call-and-response vocals. Listen to this great track above or on soundcloud.