Music outfit Africa Express’s co-founder, Damon Albarnm recently previewed the release of their new album, Egoli, which is due in July.
The album carries the track Johannesburg released on Wednesday which has guest appearances by Lesotho musician Morena Leraba, Gruff Rhys, Radio 123 and Sibot.
Morena Leraba fuses his homegrown traditional famo inspired vocals with electro dances, reggae and hip-hop among others. He merges cultures and sounds to create a unique sonic experience through collaborations with producers from across the world.
In the song, Welsh singer and songwriter Gruff Rhys shares his view of Johannesburg exploring both its beauty and mess. Morena Leraba is portrayed as a migrant labourer and being home in Lesotho, remembers Johannesburg (Gauteng) and its industriousness singing: “Ke hopotse Gauteng, lifemeng koana…”
Speaking to the Xpress People, Leraba lauded his experience working with Africa Express saying cherishes the chance he got to work with musicians such as Damon.
“Working with such stars drew a lot of attention towards me and it has opened doors for me,” Morena Leraba said.
He said he has always wanted to collaborate with musician such as Moonchild Sanelly, Muzi, Sho Madjozi, and Zolani Mahola and recording an EP and the album with them was a dream come true.
Morena Leraba said having come from Lesotho with less recording studios and being able to work with professional producers and musicians in quality studios made the experience worthwhile.
Earlier this year Africa Express which typically features Western and African artistes realised a four-track EP titled Molo which they said was a precursor of something larger to come. The EP was the product of a week-long musical excursion in Johannesburg.
Egoli is an 18-track album with songs such as City in Lights, The River, Where Will This Lead Us To, Mama and The Return of Bacardi to name a few.
The album features Albarn, Gruff Rhys, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, Georgia, and several other artistes from South Africa.