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muneyi & shameless win joburg battle of the bands

December 2, 2019
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And the winners are… Yes, winnerS. The surprise at this year’s AFROPUNK Joburg Battle of the Bands was that two separate artists won the grand prize of being picked to play the main stage at this year’s AFROPUNK Joburg: Muneyi, the great young singer-songwriter originally from Limpopo, and Shameless, a power trio from Soweto. Kudos All.

The announcement came at the end of Saturday night’s AFROPUNK Joburg Battle of the Bands Finals, at Braamfontein’s new space, Up Pops Afropunk. Hosted by Carissa Cupido, and with the DJ Lelowhatsgood providing beats for the near-capacity crowd throughout, it was a dope evening of music. Muneyi opened with incredible vocals and balladry, Raspy and (the newly renamed) Yaya gave us soulful sets, before Shameless brought the punk rock fever.

L-R: Thabang, Rock and Musa Zwane of Shameless; unidentified; and Muneyi, celebrating the announcement that they won AFROPUNK Joburg Battle of the Bands 2019. (photo: Mpumelelo Macu)

In the end, the judges went with the two bookending acts, whose performances elicited the biggest excitement from the crowd. Both will be share the main stage at AFROPUNK Joburg 2019, while Muneyi also won a distribution deal with Africa’s foremost artist development hub, AFRICORI, and will introduce The Doberman Boys, the winning act from London’s 2019 Battle Of The Bands, to the South African market.

This is how Adam Tiran, one of the judges at AFROPUNK Battle of the Bands and head of operations at AFRICORI,  saw the evening unfold.

Muneyi (photo: Mpumelelo Macu)

“This year’s two winners were triumphant for quite different reasons,” Tirand told us. “Muneyi, right from the start of the evening, set the bar high with his well-oiled, rousing renditions of Tshivenda ballads. His set felt like the most complete performance, from the inspirational songs and his considerable vocal talent, to a warm and humble stage presence that connected directly with his audience. He produced the loudest applause of the night, which is no mean feat when you’re first up on that stage.

“At the other end of the evening, Shameless, with their no-nonsense mbaqanga punk, sought to grab everyone in the crowd right by their ear’oles and shake them around a bit. Raw, undiluted energy literally dripped off these three young lads from Soweto, coupled with a furious musicianship and an infectiously charming synergy between them. I can’t wait to see them both play on that big AFROPUNK stage later this month.”

Shameless guitarist Musa Zwane, and drummer Rock. (photo: Mpumelelo Macu)

Neither can we.

Thank you to SAMRO and BOS Ice Tea for supporting this year’s AFROPUNK Joburg Battle of the Bands, and to Mpumelelo Macu for the great pics.

See you all at ConHill.

DJ Lelowhatsgood

Battle of the Bands host, Carissa Cupido



Yaya performs before the Up Pops Afropunk crowd


Shameless guitarist Musa Zwane

Muneyi finds out he won, as Raspy applauds


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