meet the joburg finalists: ikati esengxoweni
November 26, 2018
The Grand Prize at the Battle of the Bands is the once-in-a-lifetime chance to join the star-studded, line-up of AFROPUNK JoBurg 2018 at Constitution Hill on New Year’s Eve. But the Battle of the Bands is not only an opportunity for a big break most musicians seek in their careers, it is also an occasion for South African artists to showcase their music, their creative spirit and their artistry to the AFROPUNK audience. So this week, we’re spotlighting all eight finalists, asking them questions about who they are and what this moment means to them.
Today we introduce you to Ikati Esengxoweni, a soulful acoustic duo who call themselves “free spirits” and “healers.”
What is you name, your age, and the instrument that you play?
IKATI ESENGXOWENI (Cat In The Bag), comprises of two female performance-art vessels: LARK WANTU, (28 years old) on Lead Vocals & Percussion, and ANAM MANYATI, (29 years old) on Lead Vocals & Guitar.
Where are you from?
Our roots stem from Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape. We work and reside between the Eastern Cape and Johannesburg, Gauteng.
What are your favorite things about where you are from?
The best thing about the Eastern Cape, is that you can explore all the indigenous homelands of the Xhosa clan. There, we find inspiration to create, and can later share our deeply rooted culture in Johannesburg, which has more opportunities.
Give us a short description of the kind of music you make.
Ikati Esengxoweni, is a LIVE Alternative, Urban Traditional, World Music band. We pride ourselves on being a World Class Afrofuturist, Performance Art Act. Accompanied by indigenous instruments, violin, bass, guitar and drums, our voices open a torrent of sounds and rhythms that proudly wear the DNA of the continent.
If there was one or two core thoughts or ideas that you want your music to convey, what are they?
The foundation of our sound is Healing and Love. We work on concepts our followers (Cat Lovers) will appreciate, and cater to an audience across all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. We teach them about our Xhosa culture. With each performance, we adorn face paint, representing our personal individual spiritual journey, perform barefoot, and light “Impepho” sage, before entering into what we believe is a sacred realm.
What are your musical dreams and aspirations? Not fame-wise, but creatively. What do you think you can do with music?
Our dream is to create a global movement that stands firm in who we are. We are proud to be Black artists and believe that there are individuals, just like us, all around the world, who are conscious and need a voice. This platform’s sole purpose is to inspire and to be inspired by each other’s stories. Our musical journey should impact the next generation—especially women—and remind them that they can achieve anything they put their mind and effort to, regardless of hardships, race or gender.
Name one artist that you would like to collaborate with? What do you think that collaboration would sound like?
We would love to collaborate with Sho Madjozi, South African, tshiVenda artist. She’s a young female artist, making waves nationally and internationally. Her cultural aesthetic would fit perfectly with ours. Her music is alternative and liberal. Our sounds combined would certainly be an artsy explosion of voice textures, language, visuals and style.
What are you most looking forward to if you win the Battle of the Bands? What do you think winning could do for you?
If we win Battle of the Bands, it would mean so much to us, as we have since our establishment, always aspired to be on an AFROPUNK main stage. Winning would mean we are a step closer to achieving our goal of infiltrating a global market that matters. This could open so many doors, and, possibly, a new chapter in our book of life will be written.
Anything else you want to say to the AFROPUNK audience as a way of introduction?
We are more than ready to be the next generation of leaders in the arts. To be the change we want to see in the system and to grow spiritually with you.
READ MORE ABOUT THE REST OF THE AFROPUNK JOBURG BATTLE OF THE BANDS FINALISTS:
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