Stone Jets
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Stone Jets

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Pop Afropop

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"Stone Jets – What I Say"

Stone Jets’ latest EP What I Say is a vibrant montage of afro-pop bliss. Straddling genres like soul, blues, and rock, the Cape Town-based band churns-out a blend of feel-good, foot-tapping afro-pop-rock that is up-beat and contagiously catchy.

With self-discovery at its core, the EP expresses what the band has to say for itself. What I Say can be seen as their “CV into the industry”, or rather, “what we sound like live.” As bassist and vocalist, Given Nkanyane, and lead guitarist, Manfred Klose, put it, What I Say “highlights the joys and woes of being a young twenty-something who has a purpose in life”.

From the opening track, you’re immediately immersed in a maelstrom of cosmopolitan rock as colourful as Cape Town’s City Bowl.

Feeling Good, has a gorgeous ringing guitar tone and soulful vocals that embody its introspective, and somewhat moving, narrative about what could have been: “My home is with the blues, and I ain’t leaving home; I knew you wouldn’t take me back.”

This sets the scene for the stand-out track, Hurricane, which launches the EP in earnest. The silky guitar intro coaxes you in, and its only seconds until Nkanyane’s vocals sweep you off your feet.


Imagine, Something Good, and title-track, What I Say, are more of the same lively infused pop-rock. Klose’s kaleidoscopic guitar licks are bright and jangly, while Nkanyane’s vocals are amplified by an effervescent aura and distinctively soulful voice, which draws parallels between singer-songwriter Ben Harper and Adam Levine of Maroon 5 fame.

The cluster of mellowed-down ballads, Take A Look At Me and Telegraph, reveal an intimate and sophisticated side to the band, which showcases their dynamic song-writing prowess.

What I Say successfully exhibits the Jets’ simplistic and charming portfolio of afro-pop, but a full-length album may be the answer to carving out an even more clear-cut sound. One thing’s for sure, we’ll be keeping a watchful eye on Stone Jets. - Geogravity


"Review of What I Say"

Sometimes you find a band that instantly, without even trying, makes you want to book a ticket to the next available festival (no matter where); a band that makes you tap your feet or bob your head a bit. Stone Jets is that band.

Cape Town band, Stone Jets, formed in 2013, and has since released two EPs, River (2014) and What I Say (2016). They have quickly made a name for themselves across South Africa through numerous live shows, festival performances and performing alongside legends like Hugh Masekela and Majozi.

The 3-piece’s latest EP (What I Say) is a compilation of easy-to-listen-to music. The lead singer, Given Nkanyane’s, soulful voice offers effortless tunes, accompanied by uplifting kwela-type sounds of guitars and drums that just want to make you dance. Each track leads the listener down a trail of thoughts as you get the feeling that the lyrics are filled with the songwriter’s memories and experiences.

“We had something good…”

Although Nkanyane sings seemingly cheerfully, the lyrics on the opening track Something Good ostensibly focuses on a strenuous relationship that has obviously resulted in some heartbreak. The rhythm and melody, however, paints a different picture. Just like in the title track, the catchy guitar and drum patterns establish a solid, more up-tempo atmosphere.

Although the lyrics are somewhat sad, you can’t help but enjoy the electrifying guitar and drums. It carries on to the second track, which is also the title track, What I Say. The upbeat music and rhymes that backs the catchy lyrics give the song a feel-good element (think Paul Simon’s Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes).

“You just got to believe…”

“I don’t want to go and I don’t want to stay…”

On the fourth track, Take A Look At Me, the band introduces an extra instrument for the first time through talented pianist Melissa van der Spuy’s piano playing. It blends in perfectly well with the band’s other instruments, and bring a different feel to the EP.

“I knew that you would never take me back…”

The soulful track Feeling Good has a more melancholy and somber feel and, contrasting to the band’s overall happy sound, the track’s emotional and delicate elements showcase the band’s fragile side. Just like in Take a Look at Me, Nkanyane’s clear voice and effortless vocal ability carriers the song.

Different in flow, the tracks Hurricane and Imagine has a more a funky, upbeat atmosphere with heavier rhythms. Definitely the two festival hits!

With softer acoustic sounds and Nkanyane’s entrancing and captivating vocals, the last track Telegraph finally confirms that the Stone Jets have a sensitive and almost romantic side.

The collection of tracks all carry the band’s ostensible signature: uplifting indie-kwela guitars, prominent drumming and rhythms that constantly want to make you dance.

Ultimately a great collection of tracks, and a band to keep an eye on over the next few years.

7.5/10 - DirtyPinkCity


"In Review: Stone Jets at Music Experience"

A well-attended, intimate affair for the persistently humble, merry outfit.

At the end of last week, Mother City-based pop-rock trio Stone Jets enthralled an intimate albeit exceptionally attentive audience at Cape Town’s Music Experience. The favoured musical specialist outlet’s picturesque backdrop of an impressively assorted array of guitars, a practically perfect live mix (something which couldn’t be more satisfying for an aid live-music attendee) and the illuminated, radiant lighting scheme allowed for an impeccably charismatic and jovial performance from Given Nkanyane (vox and bass), Manfred Klose (guitar) and their latest addition Godwin Trimm (drums).

The majority of their 7-track EP “What I Say” was covered, including favourites ‘Something Good’, ‘Hurricane’ and the album’s title track. Although perhaps less familiar, I found ‘Telegraph’, a nostalgic and emotive piece seeking to expose a more vulnerable, earnest facet of theirs, inescapable for hours post-show. Regardless of the track’s disposition, the gathered crowd of close friends, family and fans reacted with the utmost heartfelt, appreciative cheer.

A notable focal point for the evening Nkanyane’s soulful, powerful and seemingly effortless vocal performance, not to mention the frontman’s charismatic, amicable nature. His chucklesome remarks regarding his self-acclaimed diva-esque persona and light-hearted sarcasm (“Guys, please, if you’d like to get up a dance… please don’t, people are taking videos) between songs came close to becoming a favourite aspect of the evening (let’s not mention the complimentary Jack Black beer), if it wasn’t for the band’s seemingly thoroughly-rehearsed, buoyant and humble performance. - TexxAndTheCity


"Don’t Sleep On Cape Town Band, Stone Jets"

It is rare to meet a band that is not only fresh but has massive potential to actually impact the industry; this is not based on their following but it is based purely on their talent and mass appeal. The Stone Jets are such a group, don’t sleep on them!

Stone Jets are not only organic but they are a fresh brand with something unique to offer. The band is made up of Manfred Klose on guitars, Given Nkanyane on vocals and bass and Godwn Trim on the drums. The gents have built quite a following across South Africa with their fresh and unique brand of Afro Pop Rock.

The band was formed back in 2013 and they have already released 2 EP’s namely River and What I Say. These projects speak for themselves as an introduction to the different sound that the band makes. This sound is a fusion of pop, rock and sometimes soul when they go acoustic and this flexibility is precisely what is appealing to them.

Stone Jets have also made notable television appearances with Hectic Nine-9 and SABC 3’s Expresso Morning Show. They have also played some of SA’s biggest music festivals such as OppiKoppi and Woodstock Beer Festival being among them. They have also performed alongside great and established artists with Hugh Masekela and Majozi being amongst them.

Their latest track, Feeling Good is a vibrant track with infectious rhythm and is the third release from this enigmatic afro pop rock outfit from Cape Town.

Link up with the guys on Twitter and Facebook. Also peep their Soundcloud for more updates on the music! - Zkhiphani


Discography

2014 - River

  1. River
  2. Under Your Spell
  3. Borderline
  4. You're Gone
  5. Tell Me

2016 - What I Say
  1. Something Good
  2. Hurricane
  3. Feeling Good
  4. What I Say
  5. Take a look at me
  6. Imagine
  7. Telegraph

Photos

Bio

Greek philosopher Plato, once said: 

“Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.”

It’s this philosophy of keeping things simple that makes the music produced by Cape Town band Stone Jets, fresh and unique, but also relatable.

The band, with Manfred Klose on guitars, Eduan Joubert on drums and Given Nkanyane on vocals and bass describe their music as “Pop”, but, as is the case with many musicians, their sound has evolved as they have.

Given and Manfred met in a recording studio where Given was working on a solo release.  Manfred, who was there as a session guitarist, started building on the songs that Given had written, bringing the sound he had in head to life. “That was sort of the catalyst for the band,” Given explains.
The recording would later become their first EP, River (released in 2014), but first Given needed to move from Johannesburg to Cape Town, for Stone Jets to be born.  

The band started performing in 2014, although many of those early months were spent writing material, and for Given learning a new instrument, the bass guitar.  Manfred, who has been involved with a number of bands and other projects as a session musician before, also helped Given “assimilate into a band environment”.

At that stage, Cape Town enjoyed a vibrant folk music scene and with their simple style, it was a genre that fans easily boxed the Stone Jets into, but they were also drawing heavily on African, classical, blues and rock influences.
It was through performing as much as possible though, that the band started to figure out what it was they were doing and what their fans wanted. “That’s where we learnt to craft our sound,” Manfred says. “We see how people react to a song and then change it slightly.”
“We also listened though,” Given adds, pointing out that they paid attention not only to how fans experience them, but also how the industry is moving.

The band’s second release, What I Say (released in 2016), was preceded with a lyric video for the first single off the EP, “Hurricane”, which critics have described as a “lively, foot-tapping summer single”.
Given says their understanding for music and what they are trying to do was far more “shaped” when they approached the second EP, adding that the music has a lot of “crossover potential”.
“We’re leaving a lot of space for people to add their own interpretation,” Manfred says.

With tours to Johannesburg, performances at Splashy Fen and Oppikoppi and appearances on SABC 3’s Expresso Morning Show and SABC 2’s Hectic Nine-9, Stone Jets are quickly building a name for themselves on the South African Music Scene. 

For Manfred and Given, it will always be about the music, something that’s clearly evident when seeing the amount of fun they have on stage.

Band Members