Mi Casa’s latest album We Made It has been highly anticipated for a number of reasons, but mainly because it marks 10 years since the band’s Afro-pop groove began sweeping dance floors.
In a way, this release feels like something we’ll look back on in the years to come as the moment J’Something (singer, lyricist), Mo-T (trumpeter) and Dr Duda (producer, pianist) solidified their status as SA music legends.
We Made It may have started on shaky grounds amidst rumours of a break-up, but it has come a long way since then, with the band renting a house in the middle of Mpumalanga, surrounded by nature and their closest creative confidants, to begin the grind.
From a clear creative aesthetic and narrative, to multi-layered production courtesy of P.E. brothers Jay Em (real names Waven and Ruwayne Sebia, who won a competition to work with Mi Casa last year on single “Toca”), the trio have managed to retain their iconic groove while simultaneously bringing a new kind of melodic tenderness to their music that nudges We Made It past dance status.
The result is a delicate balance of the Mi Casa we’ve grown to love on tracks like “Sweet Wine”, that cleverly references old hits but also highlights their signature sound, with newer ones like “Sober”, where you find sweet-faced J’Something swearing for the first time on a song. Yes, really.
This album’s also awash with collaborations – from Rouge to AKA to Stilo Magolide – who all hit the nail on the head in terms of their offerings, elevating J’Something’s lyrical foundation with their verses that slickly hit home.
But perhaps the trio’s standout moment on this record is latest single “Eve” – a deeper, socio-political look at the dark place we find ourselves in with regards to gender based violence, girls being kidnapped, slavery – it’s raw, but most importantly it’s honest.
This is Mi Casa at their most deliberate and certainly their most mature. They definitely have made it, in a big, big way.