By Khumo Makgothi
With only a few months of performing as a group, Nia has already shown its potential to go far. In fact, Freshlyground might have to step aside. On Friday, September 22, Nia opened the third annual Captivate conference with their performance. The group entertained the crowd with a few Afro-indigenous sounds that left the audience wanting more.
The band has come a long way from when they first started with only two members. It now comprises of Elijah Madiba, who plays bass, Lawrence Sisitska, the violin player, Katlego Gabashane, one of the vocalists, Injairu Kulundu who also does vocals and plays the guitar, Ron Mckay, the guitarist and Unathi Heshula who plays the drums.
“It has been an incredible journey, even though I have been playing for a short while,” says Kulundu, a post-graduate student who majors in African Diplomacy who only recently joined the group.
Verge das Nerves, hosted of the conference, said their lyrics “make sense.” Their lyrics talk about politics, their society and about the group itself, how they have evolved as a group in the last few months and how much they still need to learn as a group collectively. “If you would listen to their meaningful lyrics you would cry. They are great entertainers and they always leave you with a message,” explains Verge.
The group has performed in numerous places, such as The Trading Store, Highway Africa, SAfm, many youth gigs and will hopefully perform in Zambia very soon.
Elijah Madiba, who majored in sound engineering, has produced for many bands and so it was inevitable that he would produce most of the songs for the group. Their music has a whole mixture of sounds. They play traditional-Afro music, fusing their indigenous languages and countless sounds into their songs, resulting in electrifying resonance.
“The group is very groovy and their music is mellow and it’s something you can move to,” exclaimed Theo Sonnekus, a student who came all the way from theUniversity of Pretoria for the conference. “It’s in tune with the new journalism building,” he continued, although he was surprised as he was not expecting any sort of entertainment.
Nia was used in the documentary “I find bliss in ignorance” where Katlego was the main speaker. The film’s director said that he used them because they are not as recognised as they should be and that they are not making a huge impact, “well as much as they should anyways” he said.
There is a limited edition of a demo that will come out, so for all those that want to lend an ear and find out if they are as good as Verge says they are, you do not need to wait any longer.
“Music is about expressing oneself and trying to be pretty fulfilled,” says Kulundu. Well, if that means writing more meaningful lyrics and creating soulful music that please the crowd, we are all for it.