“In a loud world where the noise can be so deafening, ours is to manipulate the noise and cultivate it into something strange and beautiful. We believe music, and art as a whole is changing and is changing the world one community at a time, and we’re happy to be doing our part.” — Phomolo Sekamotho aka Flex
Fronted by Free State-hailing writer and poet Phomolo Sekamotho, better known in arts circles as Flex, the group creates genre-bending soundscapes as the foundation to Flex’ vivid word-smithery. Theirs is a symbiotic blend driven by the power of words and backed by the heartbeat and soul of music to share the beautiful stories of Africa, accompanied by visually stimulating imagery by Biya Designs.
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Performing at various music festivals and cultural stages across the country, whilst sharing lineups with the cream of Mzansi’s musical crop such as Msaki, The Brother Moves On and Thand Ntuli, the group has spent the last three years building up to this very moment: the release of their debut album, Peace is of a Struggle.
Last month saw them drop their first single, “Mankokosane”, on Heritage day — a fitting time to celebrate stories of their own, stories inherited and as Flex would have it, “stories for black people, by black people.”
The release of Peace is of a Struggle is a story in itself, as the music was recorded three years ago and mysteriously lost which, at the time, proved disheartening enough for Flex to want to call it quits. But one does not choose to be a story-teller, storytelling chooses you. With this understanding, as well as appreciating their collective talent, the band would not let Flex walk away from these stories untold. With a strong spirit of collaboration leading this collective, the release of their debut album echoes their intent. Created by Biya Designs, the album cover depicts an image that represents Flex’ grandmother’s fingerprint, paying homage to her as the source of his inspiration.
The upcoming short film, to be released in November, was filmed on Naledi Farm, a black-owned plot with a focus on growing vegetables and hosting camps for kids — an opportunity for Flex to tell the farm’s story alongside his own.
Furthermore, the launch of their website will celebrate the band members who, in turn, add pieces of their soul-struggles through the music, the most personal of their collaborative efforts. The album was released on the 23rd of October.