It’s been 17 years since Zolani Mahola’s voice slid into South African hearts, when our most beloved pan-African supergroup Freshlyground first launched onto the scene. It’s been years of hits and highlights for the band, and now Mahola has taken a step back from it all to begin exploring a new sonic terrain as she flexes her creativity as a solo artist.
This independent endeavour has already seen her team up with both Grammy-award winning classical musician Yo Yo Ma, and South African house music golden boy, SunEl Musician.
“Remember Who You Are” comes as a subtle femme empowerment track written for and inspired by the #GiveHerACrown campaign of which Mahola is ambassador. Spearheaded by the Change Collective, the campaign forms a part of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign against GBV, as well as a clarion call to change the narrative for women, using storytelling and the arts.
Pulsing synths meet Afro-pop instrumentalism in “Remember Who You Are” – pivoted off a percussive backbone and jangling guitar which almost harks right back to the Freshlyground style of yore. Oozing through silky vocals is a call for sovereign women to embrace their own worth. “We are more than these bodies, we are more than these stories,” Mahola sings, against a colour-soaked backdrop of projected visuals – wholesome and simplistic within its artistic scope.
The track is about losing yourself and finding it again, about the connection between humans and the natural world – in the rawest, most beautifully relatable form.