Ngubeni & co make the ‘Wright’ kwaito moves

2009-10-10 13:31

FORMER child star and now prominent soapie actor Wright Ngubeni could be the saviour of kwaito music.

Ngubeni and his friends have formed a kwaito group called Amagalpentsi (“massive rats” in township lingo), and they were a hit during the recent local ­Soweto ­festival.

They gave an electrifying performance at the festival, which led to revellers demanding an ­encore of their hit single, Woza My Baby.

“We are revamping the image and style of kwaito to cater for the dominating urban market. Our music introduces our unique urban-kwaai sound,” said the 22-year-old Ngubeni, who plays the role of Thula on’s Rhythm City.

He also played the role of young Jonathan Motene in the ­local soapie, Generations.

The Amagalpentsi vocalist and songwriter, Ngubeni goes by the nickname The Wright Stuff.

Other members are Didi Medupe, 32; Solly Tsotetsi, 25; and Moeketsi Mofokeng, 25.

The group was formed in 2007 after the quartet discovered each other while ­r­e­cording solo demos in a backyard studio in Diep-kloof, Soweto. They are signed under Mo’Soul Records, an independent record label owned by the band members.

Ngubeni says that the kwaito act from Orlando East, Soweto, has shied away from the traditional khaki pants and checked golf shirt accessorised by a sporty, soft-brimmed, material sun hat that have become the uniform in kwaito circles. Instead they have incorporated urban fashion into the group’s image, with high-end labels and accessories. Yet they remain ghetto and fabulous, not losing their township credibility.

Their debut album, Imvuselelo (The Resurrection) shows that they mean business. Ngubeni ­believes that their formula will inject much-needed excitement and hype into the kwaito scene and give it another lease on life.

“We are using different elements borrowed from different genres such as the rock sound, guitar and pop music, but still with the deep bass line that makes kwaito what it is.”

The album will be released in November and will feature a ­collaboration with established hip-hop artist PRO.

After enjoying commercial prominence in the late 90s, kwaito’s appeal, entertainment value and momentum have since declined. Critics have dismissed it as monotonous, commercialised and quantity driven, dominated by sexually laden lyrics and raunchy dance moves.

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