The Soil

The Soil is a South Africa acapella group consisting of three member Buhlebendalo Mda, Luphindo Ngxanga and Ntsika Ngxanga. When the group was first founded it was called Particles of the Soil and consisted of more than 25 members, by 2010 the group was down to four members. However, Samkelo Lelethu Mdolomba (Samthing Soweto), who was involved in the recording process of their debut, left due to contractual disputes.

The Soil
Origin Soweto
Johannesburg
Gauteng
South Africa
Members Buhlebendalo Mda
Luphindo Ngxanga
Ntsika Ngxanga
Past Members Samkelo Mdolomba
Genre Acapella, Afro Soul
Since 2003 – to date
Label Sony Music Africa
Native Rhythms

Associated Acts

Zakwe, The Fridge, Samthing Soweto
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, The Muffinz

Contact

Agent Unknown
Website Unknown

The Soil is a South African acapella group founded in 2003 in the Soweto township of Johannesburg in the Gauteng province of South Africa.

The members of the group that would become today’s The Soil met in high school in 2003 during the Friday Jam Sessions at that school.

“We would have musical sessions that looked more like poetry sessions at times. At times it also looked like rap sessions, but those sessions became more musical,” Ntsika Ngxanga was quoted by The Times.

At the time the group consisted of more than 25 members, as time went by a majority of the original members fell by the wayside due to other commitments.

While it has been reported that the group was originally called Particles of the Soul, in an interview with Afri Pop Mag Ntsika was “the three of us woke up one morning and fell for the name Particles of the Soil.

“At that time, Phindo [Luphindo] and I were studying at the Vaal and Buhle [Buhlebendalo] was working.

“We tried calling the other guys who were in Soweto trying to tell them the new name.

“As we were about to dial they called us telling us that they think the name should be The Soil. It was such a scary coincidence.

“Same morning, same moment we thought of these names! We had a debate, The Soil vs Particles of the soil. Then we thought why become particles of the soil when we can just be The Soil.”

In 2005 The Soil began taking their music career seriously and when on to compose ten (10) songs.

In 2010 when The Soil was working their debut album, they were down to four member; Buhlebendalo Mda also known as “Soil Sister” who is the group’s vocalist, Luphindo Ngxanga also known as “Master P” who is the group’s beat-boxer and vocalist and Ntsika Ngxanga also known as “Fana-tastic” who is the group’s main composer and vocalist as well as Samkelo Mdolomba also known as “Samthing Soweto”.

Luphindo Ngxanga and Ntsika Ngxanga are biological brothers; the former (Luphindo Ngxanga) is the eldest of the pair and they were born two years apart.

Samkelo Mdolomba was involved in the process of creating and recording The Soil’s debut album; however, as a result of contractual disputes he left the group.

He went on to form a contemporary jazz group called The Fridge where he serves as a lead vocalist and is signed with Motif Records.

Discussing people who have influence them, they have cited South African artists such as; the late Busi Mhlongo, the late Brenda Fassie, the late Miriam Makeba, Simphiwe Dana, Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo fame and the group itself (Ladysmith Black Mambazo).

The Soil has since released two albums; “The Soil” (2011) and “Nostalgic Moments” (2014). One of their songs was featured in the American action thriller film, Dark Tide, starring Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez.

 

 

Recording, 2011 – to date

In June 2011 The Soil released their debut album, a Long Play (LP) titled “The Soil”.

The eleven track album was released under Sony Music Entertainment Africa and Native Rhythms and it went on to achieve platinum status (South Africa) with sales reaching over 50 000 copies.

In June 2012, one year after the release of “The Soil”, the group re-released the album, “The Soil Deluxe Edition”, with additional two songs; a remix of  “Baninzi” and a remix “Iinkomo ft. Zakwe”.

Nostalgic Moments - The SoilIn October 2013 they released a compilation of the live recordings titled “Reflections: Live in Johannesburg”.

In September 2014 The Soil released their second studio album titled Nostalgic Moments.

The 12 track album was initially released digitally on iTunes and just one week later Nostalgic Moments was made available on a compact disc format.

The Soil worked with the famed Grammy Award winning South African Isicathamiya group from KwaZulu-Natal, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, on the hit song “Hamba Uyosebenza” and worked Motswako rapper, Khuli Chana, on the song “Susan”.

 

 

Music Style and Genre

The Soil’s music has been defined as Acapella; this is because the group does not use any musical instruments in their music “back then we weren’t exposed to nor did we have access to ‘real life’ instruments, let alone the cash to purchase our own.

“We were forced to find an alternative; to come up with something fresh and new. So we relied on what we could trust – our voices. We stuck to what we knew – singing. And that morphed into us healing people with our voices, our words, our music,”  Buhlebendalo Mda was quoted in an interview with Mahala.

Their music has also been defined by them and others as “Kasi Soul”; “Kasi” is a South African slang word used predominantly by the black youth which means “Township”, therefore “Kasi Soul” means “Township Soul”.

Essentially this means they view their music as “Soul Music” and “Kasi Soul” may be viewed as a “Sub-Genre”, in an interview with Mahala Luphindo Ngxanga was quoted saying “the umbrella, the genre we fall under has soul – is Soul.”

 

 

Touring

The Soil has toured extensively since gaining mainstream fame; the group performed at the celebration of Solomon Mahlangu’s birthday in Tanzania.

The Soil has also performed at the Apollo Theater in Manhattan, New York City in New York in the United States of America and at Edinburgh International Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

In March 2014 the group performed at the 15th Annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival; that festival featured artists such Jonas Gwangwa, AKA, Da L.E.S, Erykah Badu, Abdullah Ibrahim, The Muffinz and Mi Casa among other.

 

 

Discography

Year Album Record Label Notes
2011 The Soil Sony Music Africa, Native Rhythms Debut Studio Album, LP
2012 The Soil Deluxe Edition Sony Music Africa, Native Rhythms Debut Album Re-release
2013 Reflections: Live in Johannesburg Native Rhythms Compilation Album
2014 Nostalgic Moments Native Rhythms Second Studio Album
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