Freshlyground have managed to navigate 10 years in the South African music industry, no mean feat for a band this size. Their ascension was rapid- they became a household name in South Africa in 2004 with the release of the smash-hit album Nomvula, and every album released since has generated at least one radio hit: Doo Be Doo, I’d Like, Pot Belly, Fire is Low & 2010’s smash hit with Shakira, Waka Waka.
This October Freshlyground release their 5th studio album: Take Me To The Dance. The band decided to boldly embrace changes sweeping the music industry- and entirely self-funded the recording of the album. In addition to claiming complete ownership of the material, Freshlyground are championing alternative ways of distribution and marketing- and have proudly partnered with Pick n Pay for the release of the new record, a move that will shift industry norms and open up new models for musicians in South Africa.
With a focus on making their music more accessible to more people around the country, and at a cheaper price, the album will be marketed and distributed by Pick n Pay, and will be on sale to the public in 192 corporate stores around the country on the 22nd of October. The CD will be bundled with a goodie bag, including free shirt. The album will also be available for digital download from the band’s website freshlyground.com, as well as iTunes and Amazon.com.
Says Malcolm Mycroft, Pick n Pay’s General Manager of Marketing: “We are thrilled to be associated with a band that represents all that is good about South Africa and are very excited about being part of their new journey. Through our many stores around the country we will not only be able to make Freshlyground’s music more accessible to more people, we will also be able to offer it at a great price. While this does represent a departure from traditional music distribution we have no doubt it will be a great success and are looking forward to the launch of the CD.”
Take Me To The Dance was recorded in multiple locations- and the band spent two weeks in Prince Albert with Grammy Award winning producer Steve Berlin compiling, arranging, and putting it all together. Says Zolani Mahola “This album has been such an incredible journey for the band. The writing process meant that we all had room to express ourselves individually before arriving at the whole. Recording with Steve Berlin was an absolute dream come true. Loved every minute… now take me to the dance!"
The band built a makeshift studio in a community theatre in the middle of the quiet Karoo town, and created a space where, says Peter Cohen “We pushed ourselves on many levels, and as a result the record is sonically far less predictable… our collaboration with DJ Headroom on the title track Take Me To The Dance displays the band’s flexibility within genres. Freshlyground have always allowed themselves wide latitude in terms of style-hopping, and I think this album achieves that more successfully than all the others.”
Freshlyground are pushing creative boundaries- and although they run the risk of losing some fans for not sticking to the old formula- the band believes that most South Africans will join them for the ride. Peter goes on to say- “For FG it’s a new release in so many ways… it’s a release from all the usual structures: no more major (record label), and sure we’re financially stretched to the max but we’re in control, and if we fuck it up we only have ourselves to blame… and that in its own way is refreshing!”
Take Me To The Dance will be available in Pick n Pay stores around the country from Monday October 22 2012.