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Skye Wanda and the Rocket Men

Outshine the Moon

by Samora Chapman / 20.12.2012

If you ever get sick of the same fifty hipsters (including me) that frequent the Poison City nightlife, do yourself a favour and take a little sojourn to the Jazzy Rainbow in Morningside. It’s a small venue packed with big leather couches, and moody lighting that makes you sink into a blissed-out jazzy stupor in no time. On Saturday night I filled my stomach with a flaming roti and went to watch Skye Wanda and the Rocket Men, brand new jazz/hip-hop/R&B crew straight outta Durban.

Skye Wanda is phenomenal, with a diva voice like Etta James and rhyme-skills like Lauren Hill. Yep, she raps too. The band was tight, especially ‘church-boy’ (as he was described by Skye) on keyboards and the drummer who stole the night a couple times with his funky breaks. The back-up girls came with the sweetest harmonies to round off the sound.

They played a host of original tracks in English and isiZulu, swerving between afro-jazz, gospel, R&B and hip-hop. There was an absolute beauty of a track about the conflict between faith and religion. Skye is a real songwriter, and delved into an absorbing rhyming narrative about growing up with so many different religious influences only to eventually find faith in her own personal way.

The set was romantic enough to warm even a stone-cold heart, with covers of classics like 2Pac’s ‘Do For Love’, Franki Valli’s ‘You’re Too Good to Be True’ and Bill Withers’ ‘Aint No Sunshine When She’s Gone’. Each time Skye would sing the familiar verse or chorus then break into a killer story-rhyme, a la Slick Rick The Ruler, except with a flow like Andre 3000.

So keep an ear to the sound-waves for Skye Wanda and the Rocket Men, cos they’ll outshine the moonlight next time they grace a music joint near you.

*Images © Samora Chapman.

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