MXO

MXO

BandR&BFunk

The musical bedrock of his last album, Peace of Mind is strongly informed by Afro-jazz (the blasting horns speak of the genre over and over again), laced with dollop of soul and funk in the musical mix, along with smatterings of dub, reggae and Afrocentric neo-folk.

Biography

In a musical world dominated by a handful of genres, and most frequently peopled with unadventurous and predictable artists, MXO is a blast of fresh air, blowing stronger than a howling Cape South Easter and leaving in his wake an ever-expanding pool of fans simply smitten with his singular sonic sound.
The promise contained in the debut ep, Another Day has been kept, and fans of MXO will be thrilled to learn that with the release of his first full-length recording, this rare artist has crafted an album that is nothing short of a musical gift to the South African nation and beyond our borders.
Simply hit the play button on Peace Of Mind, MXO’s just-released 16-track album and you’ll too find his musical brew irresistible and intoxicating. Produced by Africa Mkhize, and featuring a dazzling array of fine South African musicians including Africa himself on piano and other keyboards, Marcus Wyatt (trumpet), Siya Makuzeni (trombone) and Sindney Mavumdla (saxophone), the album is a landmark recording, signifying a maturing South African music scene that is capable of nurturing and supporting a talent as individual as MXO’s.

Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 1978. Singing began quite naturally for him as a young child growing up in the township and participating in both school choir and the scout choir. It was the musical legends such as Letta Mbulu, Hugh Masikela, Miriam Makeba as well as the social and political climate of the early 1980’s that influenced the youngster and he was part of two groups – Black Power Crew and Lil Homies – that were in demand throughout Port Elizabeth.

Financial difficulties and plans to pursue a career in music brought MXO to Johannesburg in 1999. After meeting up with numerous artists, he eventually linked up with DJ Blaze and his Unity Recordings and before long was gaining his fame in JHB city by performing at legendary venues like the Bassline, Horror Café, Monday Blues and other underground poetry and Hip-Hop spots including Jungle Connection, the Couch and Coffee, and more.

It was while jamming in these spots that MXO connected with Sliq Angel, another superb solo artist. After they performed together at an open mic session, the formation of Roots 2000 was inevitable and the duo performed at many gigs (Jazz Arts Festival 2000, OppiKoppi and more) and was featured on many radio and television stations.

But the solo road proved too strong for both MXO and Sliq who parted ways, with MXO releasing his debut ep, Another Day, in 2003, marking the arrival of an artist working outside the boundaries of conventional genres to create an Afrocentric sound that benefits greatly from an acoustic feel and a hip-hop sensibility as well. With lyrics that celebrate life, deal with matters of the heart, are fully respectful of women and address issues like violence against women and the HIV/AIDS pandemic, MXO packs a powerful punch.

Live, MXO’s undeniable sex appeal and naturalness on stage is clear for all to see and together with his 5 piece band .

In 2003, he collaborated with Grammy Nominee Jamie Catto for the second One Giant Leap project which brings together artists from all corners of the earth. (for more info please check www.1giantleap.tv).
2004 saw him play at the WORLD EXPO in Aichi, Japan.
In 2005 he performemd with John Legend's during John's MTN/SA tour.

Discography

Another Day [Unity/Mlok 2003]
Peace of Mind [Unity recordings 2004]

As guest/session artist:
Zandisile by multi-award winning Simphiwe Dana [Gallo Music]
Formula by SA music award winning Mr. Selwyn [Gallo Music]