Album honours his roots

2015-06-30 06:00
Tony Cedras is excited about sharing the sounds of his album Love letter to Cape Town.

gary van dyk

Tony Cedras is excited about sharing the sounds of his album Love letter to Cape Town. PHOTO: gary van dyk

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From the first moment that the music of Tony Cedras’s latest album Love letter to Cape Town touches you, his admiration for this part of the world is evident.

Last week he hosted the launch of the new release in the city and spoke with passion about his joy in making this album.

The roots of the album is from his youth, growing up in Elsiesriver, playing with some of the best on the local scene, like Pacific Express, Spirits Rejoice and his legendary EStudio project.

That journey took him overseas where he became a sought-after session musician, eventually touring and recording with Paul Simon for many years.

“This album is my plea for Cape Town to rediscover its soul, its essence and beauty that has always been in my being wherever I was in the world,” he says.

“I grew up in an era where music was a major motivation for so many people who were living under apartheid.

“We were oppressed, there was poverty, there was crime. But from these areas came a myriad of musicians whose music inspired a generation of poets, actors, artisans, teachers, and most importantly, activists who fought, and eventually won, against that evil regime.

“Now those musical heroes who inspired our youth have been neglected and rejected. Where are the radio stations who are paying tribute to the messages of our elders?

“Our new generation can still learn from their music and the messages that those harmonies gave us, and most of the time it did not need words. Their souls were shared through the sounds of the Cape that they could create.”

On this new recording Cedras teams up with some local legends, like guitarists Steve Newman and Errol Dyers. But it is the input of the younger gene­ration that excites him.

“There is a generation that wants to discover their true roots in music,” he says.

“On this album it was exciting to work with people like bassist Wesley Rustin, trumpeter Darren English and Zolani Mahola from Freshlyground.

“They are all part of the new generation who have hungered to make something more of their talent. We need more young people to hear this kind of music to discover their true Cape identity.”

When it comes to the modern music culture on commercial radio stations, Cedras feels that there is so much more that they can do to move young minds away from accepting mediocrity.

“We come from an era where a government tried to divide us according to the colour of our skin. Now they are trying to divide us through ‘marketing’ strategies.

“This radio only plays this type of music, that one another, but in all these circumstances it seems as if they are ‘ashamed’ of who we really are.

“With my ‘love letter’ I am pleading with them and the world to re-discover the harmonies that are really in our hearts.”V

The album and single tracks are available online at Amazon, iTunes and Spotify. You can also visit for more information and videos of the recording.

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