Exactly a year after her sensational debut, Zahara returns with a spell-binding concert immortalised on CD and DVD for all to own. The CD and DVD are scheduled for release in the first week of September.
The magical night of music captured at Carnival City showcases the genius of this Eastern Cape-born performer who has in the space of a year gone from just being known as Spinach, the guitar girl from East London, to a staggering eight-time SA Music Award (SAMA) winner.
Her runaway hit Loliwe (a train) symbolises the steam train speed with which she has risen through the ranks and enjoyed both critical acclaim and earth shattering record sales of her debut album.
The 2 hour long DVD was recorded in front of a capacity crowd on the nights of June 8 and 9 2012. It features guest appearances by X-Factor US finalist LeRoy Bell, the Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir, award-winning DJ Sbu and Riot, her latest collaborator. She is backed by an eight piece band that includes percussionist Tlale Makhene.
Zahara dazzles in designs by NN Vintage and Fundudzi and jewellery by Butter Jewelry by Siya Stofile. She opens the show with Liza Lisidinga Lakho, the Xhosa traditional hymn composed by Tiya Soga accompanied by an 10 piece strings section and the harmonious voices of Soweto Gospel Choir. She looks outstanding in a futuristic yellow top paired with a black figure hugging skirt decorated by the South African flag.
She soon changes gears and takes her audience to the heart of the Eastern Cape with the thumping Xhosa musical rhythms, complete with a group of traditional dancers, Sivuyile, doing umtyityimbo and playing a selection of traditional instruments as she performs Xa Bengina Mama.
This juxtaposition of the string arrangements of violins, viola and cello against the traditional drum and musical instruments, plus the church hymn encapsulates what Zahara has come to represent. She is a potpourri of influences which come together seamlessly and keeps earning her legions of fans across the music spectrum.
She calls the concert “a journey” in which she shares her joys, fears, highs and lows and all the things that make her who she is today. She also acknowledges God’s mercy in carrying her thus far in her career.
Zahara performs all her quintessential hits from her small yet powerful songbook. She shows off her vocal prowess on Ndiza. Her performance pulls at the heart strings with her passionate and honest rendition. It is an emotional tearjerker of a song she calls “special”.
She pays tribute to women performers whom she sees as her inspiration. She salutes Miriam Makeba with a strong rendition of African Sunset and then tackles Brenda Fassie’s hits Promises and Vulindlela with the vocal precision only she can muster – and gets a resounding approval from the audience. This performance proves her detractors wrong and is evidence why she has been compared to the late legends.
Zahara also performs a duet with LeRoy Bell called Bambelela, the pair later marry their two songs Brand New Day (each has a song titled Brand New Day on their albums) and swop roles with Bell strumming the guitar and Zahara on vocals.
The slow and tender My Guitar sees Zahara jamming with three other guitarists on stage for one of the most beautiful moments of the DVD.
She gets the audience on their feet on Incwad’encane and inspires a dance craze in the arena. And her performance of Lengoma and Loliwe are worthy show stoppers.
Get mesmerized by the mind-blowing musical feast of lights, stage design and flawless sound. Experience the elation of the audience and the exhilaration as she goes through the music that made her a national treasure.
By the time confetti rains on her, Zahara had proven to be a consummate entertainer who knows her way with a live audience and takes them along for a ride in her musical train.