Suthukazi Arosi

Suthukazi Arosi

BandWorldAdult Contemporary

My music is danceable and holds appeal for all, whilst still maintaining its identity and integrity through its echoes of traditional South African rhythms and melodies.

Biography

Suthukazi, born in Cala, Transkei, Eastern Cape and was, from an early age, immersed in music. She studied ballet and modern jazz in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg to pursue a music career. Although Suthukazi stands before us today as one of Africa's leading voices she is also an accomplished actress having performed in many South African productions; skills that were honed by mentor with Gibson Kente.

Suthu's first recording was with Cheek to Cheek, on her first album, 'Oshakati'. The recording was followed by an extensive local and international touring schedule that included countries such as: Zambia, Zimbabwe, USA, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Singapore, Japan, United Arab Emirates to name a few. She has featured in many successful projects by the likes of: Chicco Twala, Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbulu, Hugh Masekela, Jonas Gwangwa and Miriam Makeba. Among these projects, she featured prominently in Laduma that toured Japan for the World Indigenous Music Festivals, the FNB Vita Award winning stage production called "The Game", as well as the highly acclaimed, and SAMA nominated African big band Mahube.

Suthu draws her inspiration from many different facets of her life. "This is music of the people, indeed the people are most influential to my writing. Because of their everyday life experiences, I am able to put a song together. I have listened to so many kinds of music from childhood, some influences come from listening to such music and many musicians I have worked with" Suthu says.

Her first album under Sheer Sound "UBUNTU" released in 2001, speaks of many things from the struggles waged by South Africans, to the healing of the many wounds inflicted by our troubled past. Suthu says this of UBUNTU, "its about people's experiences in life, what they have gone through and what they have become. This is the music for the people. Each song on the album tells a story that people can relate to. It is healing, educative, as well as entertaining. We have lost that special gift that God blessed us with, that is ubuntu, humanity, and yet ubuntu is the key to our lives."

Her second album under Sheer Sound stable “The Journey” released in 2004, is a slight diversion for this amazing talent. Produced by D-Rex (David Campos), of Mapaputsi fame, as well as featuring the touches of maestro guitarist Bheki Khoza – with two additional songs produced by Joe Nina as well - we see an album that fuses modern urban African rhythms with the raw magic and rural flavour that Suthukazi is so famous for, and delivers so magically both live and in studio. A perfect blend that creates music that is danceable and holds appeal for all, whilst still maintaining its identity and integrity as truly African music with strong and conscious messages delivered with amazing power!

AWARDS RECEIVED:

1997 - Kora Award for Best Southern African Artist (1st female to have received this Award in South Africa.
1997 - FNB Vita Award for Best Leading Actress, "The Game"
2002 – SAMA Awards for Best Xhosa Album

NOMINATIONS:
2002 – Best Traditional Adult Album
2002 – Shoprite Checkers Woman of The Year
2002 – Best Contemporary Album
2005 – Best Female Artist of The Year

TOURS & PROJECTS:

First Duet Album with Oshakati

Worked with Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbulu, Hugh Masekela, Jonas Gwangwa, Miriam Makeba, etc.

Featured on projects with Chico Twala including “Staring in Laduma” which Toured Japan for the World Indigenous Festivals.

Afrovibes Festival, Holland and Germany

Raymond Vuyo Maintiyane Fundraising Project

Johannesburg International Joy of Jazz Festival, August 2002

Performed for President Thabo Mbeki & Government Ministries

Performed for Mr Nelson Mandela Birthday

Performed for the King of the Xhosa’s “ISITHWALANDWE” Ceremony

Toured USA with The Lion King

Performed & Conducted Workshops for Municipality of Endhoven, Netherlands for HIV AIDS Project in 2005

LONDON PERFORMANCE:
2005 - Heritage Day
2005 - Black History Month
2005 - Performed at South African Embassy
2005 – I.M.O Organisation

Discography

RECORDINGS AS LEADER:

Fire: Duet with Oshakati (CCP, 1987)
Umziwatsha (CCP, 1990)
Ayeza (? 1994)
Abelungu Abamnyama (? 1996)
Ubuntu (Sheer Sound, 2001)
The best of Suthukazi (Sheer Sound, 2002)
The Journey (Sheer Sound, 2004)

ALSO APPEARS ON:

Rebecca Malope: Uzube Nam (CCP, 1996)

Mahube: Mahube (Sheer Sound, 1999)

Sibongile Khumalo: Ancient Evenings (Sony International, 2000)

Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi: Neria (Sheer Sound, 2001)

Mahube: Music of Southern Africa (Sheer Sound, 2002)

Various Artists: Afro Jazz- The Modern Era (Sheer Sound, 2003)

Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi: The Tuku Years (Sheer Sound, 2003)

Various Artists: African Woman (Sheer Sound, 2003)

Red Buddha: World Music Cafe, Vol. 2 (Blue Flame, 2003)

Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi: Oliver Mtukudzi Collection (Putumayo, 2003)

Various Artists: Drop the Debt (Wrasse, 2003)

Set List

1. Umziwatsha
2. Amanyala
3. Ingane kaMalume
4. Wemnt' omnyama Vuka Emaqandeni
5. Vumani
6. Uyakhala
7. Ubuntu
8. Africa Unite
9. Somandla
10. When The Music Stops
11. Abafazi balelali
12. African Sunset