Tidal Waves

Tidal Waves

 Johannesburg, Gauteng, ZAF
BandWorld

A swell and crash of roots rock reggae with a slow, seductive undertow and a spray of intense energy. They’re humble, hard working, and happy souls. They’ve made challenging life choices and they carry their message with pride.

Biography

The crowd is skanking in unison, bouncing up and down like an irie earthquake of rhythm. The maestro with the guitar stops blowing his harmonica and leans into the microphone and shouts: 'Original Music! For Original People!' The crowd screams back in togetherness. The maestro smiles and hits them with another song.

Tidal Waves are widely regarded as the hardest working reggae band in South Africa, playing gigs from Oppikoppi to Pretoria, Cape Town to Potchefstroom. Originally from Klerksdorp, a small dustbowl gold mining town about two hours South of Jozi, the band is now based in Yeoville, Johannesburg. The band is made up of five very gifted musicians, the core of the group being held together by Jacob 'Zakes' Wulana on guitar, harmonica and vocals and Sam 'Drumbo' Shoai on drums and vocals. Shadrack “Charlie” Mathopa is on the bass and Abraham “Abrie” Mmakola plays the keys, while Jaco “Mr.” Mans wields the lead guitar.

Tidal Waves write and perform original reggae music with traditional African music influences like Maskandi and Mbaqanga. The sound is original roots reggae with strong rock, ska and blues influences. They are renowned for performing music in English, Afrikaans, Setswana and Tshivhenda.

Like all good reggae, their lyrics are socially conscious and uplifting, railing against the government for not respecting the Rainbow Nation and imploring their fans to stand up for integration and one love. Other songs have deeply rooted anti war sentiments, while others lament the sad tales of urban South African poverty and the struggle to survive as musicians in the global capitalist economy.

A Tidal Waves performance is always high energy and the band plays regularly in Johannesburg and Pretoria as well as touring and gigging nationwide, especially the mother city of Cape Town. Tidal Waves have taken their original music tours to Mozambique, Swaziland and as far abroad as New Zealand and the Seychelles. They also have several successful tours of Europe under their belts, where they performed at the Pukkelpop festival in Belgium and the Mano Mundo festival in the Netherlands, as well as a packed schedule of medium size venues across Belgium and Italy.

Tidal Waves are widely respected in South African music circles as an honest, hard working band with an original sound and irie vibes. Because of this they have some of the most ardent, die-hard fans and supporters in the SA music industry.

The band was recently featured in the local documentary South Africa Live – a Musical Affair (aired on MTV Base in September) alongside artists such as Freshlyground, Simphiwe Dana and the Parlotones.

2009 marks the 10-year anniversary of Tidal Waves – a decade 'heart reggae' and spellbinding performances!

The band has just finished recording their latest album 'Manifesto' and will be kicking off their nationwide album launch tour on 25th November 2009. Be sure to catch them this summer for a high energy performance and an anthem to be sung by the world - 'Original Music for Original People!'

Discography
1999 - Hard Work (Jozi Vibes / BMG)
2002 - Harmonijah (Independent Release)
2005 - Muzik an da Method (Independent Release)
2007 – Afrika (Sheer Sound with Oppikoppi Productions)
2009 – Manifesto (Independent Release)

The most striking thing about the new Tidal Waves album, Manifesto, is the sheer range of musical styles they manage to incorporate into their reggae groove. From kwela to boeremusiek to old 1950s style Jamaican ska via Sophiatown swing, mbaqanga, goema and rock - all fleshing out a reggae backbone. Manifesto is an original and distinctly African contemporary reggae soundtrack that is fast becoming my favourite release of 2009. They’re steeped in South African music, creating relevant tunes, with a conscious message, and the most exciting and original sound around. Their roots are buried firmly in our culture. And their fruit is one of our sweetest.
Mahala Magazine

Tidal Waves played a steaming and catching reggae set at the 2005 Pukkelpop festival in Belgium. It was amazing to see how they pulled a fully crowded tent at an alternative festival at the same time as Nick Cave was playing, and got all the people to dance. They really represented the good and bad sides of South Africa with their warm and sunny - but also political - music. Off stage we also greatly appreciated these 100% pure people.
Chokri Mahassine, Pukkelpop

‘I've seen Tidal Waves play in a lot of different places already. From a youth house to a casino, from a pub to the famous Pukkelpop festival and I must say, they impress every audience. Definitely one of the best live bands that I have had the pleasure to work with.’
Hans De Reydt, Blafhik Productions

This band should raise the South African reggae flag worldwide. They will surely follow in the late South African Reggae father Lucky Dube’s footsteps with their uniquely African Reggae sound. Kwelagobe Sekele, Music Industry Online

Tho

Discography

1999 - Hard Work (Jozi Vibes / BMG)
2002 - Harmonijah (Independent Release)
2005 - Muzik an da Method (Independent Release)
2007 – Afrika (Sheer Sound with Oppikoppi Productions)
2009 – Manifesto (Independent Release)