Get into the spirit of 2010 with new Schuster song / New Schuster song set to rock the nation
Leon Schuster’s long-awaited new film Schuks Tshabalala’s Survival Guide to South Africa 2010, opens in cinemas nationwide on 28 May. To coincide with the release of this hilarious new comedy, Schuster and well-known songwriter and musician Don Clarke are launching Khuthala Bo!, a music video inspired by the antics of Schuks Tshabalala and his trusty sidekick Shorty. The song is a Bafana Bafana anthem and is set to become hugely popular in the weeks leading up to the FIFA 2010 World Cup as soccer fever takes hold of the nation. “I was commissioned to write several theme songs for the film about characters and situations in the story,” says Clarke. “Some lyrics were supplied by Gus Silber and the film’s director, Gray Hofmeyer. I spent seven months working on the music. Khuthala Bo! took on a life of its own when Lance Samuels, the producer of the film, recognised that it had the potential to be turned into a major music video and a stirring World Cup theme song for South Africa.” Clarke describes the video as a frantic, highly expressive juxtaposition of human (and animal) images representing many facets of South Africa’s rainbow nation with all sorts of people singing lines from the song. “There’s a lot of dancing, clapping, clowning around and generally reacting to the spirit of the music and the event that we have all been waiting for. It’s a truly happy and powerful piece of film which should stir even those who have no interest in soccer. I am very proud to have written and sung the song.” The music has a little bit of something for everyone, including African verses, a Zulu warrior chant bridge, choruses with Zulu female scat, normal verse and even an a cappella “stadium stomp” chorus which leads into a massive, rousing final chorus. “All these elements have been incorporated into the arrangement which is a mix of rock and traditional African music with a touch of kwaito thrown in,” Clarke adds. “My lyrics are almost entirely metaphor, which in itself is very African. It should appeal to just about everyone.” Clarke and his band The Crutch Mullets performed the song with a six-piece African choir at the recent Splashy Fen music festival and the crowds loved it. “Our audience rose to the occasion and clips of the performance have been incorporated into the video. It was all great fun.” Khuthala Bo! Is just one of the songs featured on Clarke’s new CD Soccer Safari, which will be launched simultaneously with the music video. “South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup gave us a great opportunity to create concept music,” he explains. “And during the course of writing music for the film, I ended up with too many Bafana Bafana songs. In addition, I also had older songs, including Nkosi Sikilela Vuvuzela, written by Kalla Bremer and me over five years ago. Others like Hey-Na Splashy, which was the winning song two years ago in the Splashy Fen Song Competition, I turned into Hey-Na Africa as a welcoming song for foreign visitors. The result is a great collection that really taps into the national spirit of the moment.” Artists featured on the CD include Schuster himself, as well as Alf “Shorty” Ntombela who sings the memorable Vuvuzela Mamba. Clarke sings and plays the instruments on all the other tracks. Some of the bass tracks were performed by Ronnie McNamara and some of the keyboard tracks by Wayne Rathbone.