Behold! Streaming video of the BLK JKS collaboration with Alicia Keys now exists on the internet. The entire office was glued to my computer screen when this super surreal performance happened live last week at the World Cup Kickoff Celebration. They performed the famous South African song by the late pop diva Brenda Fassie – “Too Late For Mama.” When Alicia starts singing the first words of the song, you can hear the crowd in Orlando Stadium go absolutely nuts. We are so impressed with BLK JKS and Alicia Keys for making a really memorable performance that incorporates South African musical history both past and present during an incredible moment for Johannesburg.
I’ve got great news for World Cup attendees and BLK JKS fans! First, KCRW is streaming the new BLK JKS EP, ZOL!, for free starting today. If you like what you hear, you can pre-order the EP from us and receive an instant digital download.
Second, we have news about the EP release concert in Johannesburg! It’s going to be on June 11th in downtown Joberg at The Bassline. KCRW’s Garth Trinidad and The Fader will both be there to host the party.
If you are heading to South Africa for the fun, please take pictures and please send them to us! If we don’t get a picture of Alicia Keys rubbing elbows with BLK JKS for our mantels, we’ll probably cry. No one likes sad record label employees – just sad music.
Tomorrow BLK JKS will make their first trip to Pretoria, the political capitol of South Africa, to perform at Tings an’ Times, a venue with a rich recent history of breaking bands and the mold.
Then on the 29th BLK JKS will travel to Swaziland to play in the Bush Fire Festival. The annual festival raises money to provide critical social services to the poverty-stricken and to raise money for Young Heroes, Swaziland’s first Internet-based fund raising initiative and NGO for HIV/AIDS orphans.
In Durban on June 3rd they’ll be playing in the land of SHAKA ZULU for the first time at RAINBOW and attempting to go meet BUSI MHLONGO while they are out there.
We will have some other announcements related to the World Cup shortly, but for now I leave you with the cool remix of “Lakeside” by Fractal that The Fader posted on their site yesterday.
“ZOL!” is a grassroots street anthem filtered through BLK JKS’ unmistakable and ever expanding sound. With a crazy head-bobbing kwaito beat and bassline, as lyrical guitar work takes the party higher, “ZOL!” finds BLK JKS hosting a house party for the planet. Percussionist Tshepang Ramoba takes the lead on vocals here as the guys back him up with call-and-response and polyrhythmic claps, raucously proclaiming “I can roll and shoot at the same time.”
This will get you pumped up for the World Cup, trust me.
The ZOL! EP will be released on June 8th in North America.
As the entire planet catches futbol fever and turns to South Africa for the World Cup, we’ll let you in on a secret! The moment’s unofficial anthem — the song young dudes in Soweto sing on the way to local matches — is not something imported or manufactured for touristic consumption. It has lived there, waiting for the world to turn its ears to South Africa, just now. Secretly Canadian is stoked to present you with ZOL!, the new BLK JKS EP just in time for The World Cup. More after the jump.