Sipho Hotstix Mabuse VS Strange Loving – BURNOUT
STRANGE LOVING Revives Popular Gallo Classic!
STRANGE LOVING and Gallo Record Company have released a brand new single – a rework of Sipho Hotstix Mabuse’s classic ‘Burnout’ which became one of the first major crossover hits in South Africa in the early 1980s, selling more than 500 000 copies.
A spur of the moment idea, sparked by a friend who thought it would be a great idea to revive an old classic from the past, STRANGE LOVING was inspired by the 90s Daft Punk method of production to rework this 80s release into a silky offering with a hint of seductive flavour.
Instead of Re-editing the track by using the exact sampling from the original 30 year old record, STRANGE LOVING added some fresh percussion and hats as well as their signature bassline which shines through in the end result.
Featuring their own edgy mass appeal style heard on previous STRANGE LOVING radio singles, at first they were not expecting Hotstix and management to approve their version, but were delighted when he and his manager did.
Hotstix comments “I am delighted with the remix as it keeps the essence of the song alive and this mix has a really good feel about it . Hopefully people will go and explore other songs I have done over my career”
“Anyone and everyone who is a lover of classic South African music would be able to identify with our version of BURNOUT, and hopefully our release of it as official single starts a revival of this old classic for today’s youth!”- Strange Loving
In 1985, a hot new single was pumping in most clubs, house parties and cars. Whenever Burn Out played, people would stomp to the dance floor. Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse became known as the hottest musician in South Africa.
The music, which fused township pop, traditional mbaqanga groove and the disco of the era, was a powerful step in bringing young white people to African popular music.
Mabuse regards the 1985 Concert in the Park at Ellis Park to be a significant highlight of his career. This event brought 22 of the most popular bands of all genres and races around South Africa to Ellis Park and packed the venue out with 125 000 people of all races. Juluka was the headline act and the only mixed race band to perform. Mabuse performed with Harari – a pioneering afro-rock band.
From the Beaters to Harari
Mabuse was born on 2 November 1951 in Masakeng (Shantytown), Orlando West, a bedrock of political resistance. A traditional healer from Lesotho lived opposite his home where he first heard the drums. Mabuse said, “This is where I got the feel of the drum. It was more of a spiritual influence than an academic influence.”
In high school in Orlando West, Mabuse became a drummer for the cadets. Guitar player Selby Ntuli spotted his talent and invited him to form a band with his fellow scholars, bass player Alec Khaoli and guitarist Monty Ndimande (Saitana.) In June 1966 The Beaters were formed, the name inspired by The Beatles. They performed all over Soweto at high-schools and matric dances.
“The media picked up on that.” Mabuse fondly recalls, “the brat pack of the era – Aggrey Klaaste, Percy Khoza – were fascinated that these youngsters were coming out of high-school and playing pop music.” The soul sound of the Beaters travelled widely. By 1969, at the height of apartheid, The Beaters were the first black South Africans to fly domestically, when they toured Durban. In 1976 they performed for three months in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Outside SA, The Beaters were exposed to and strongly influenced by modern African sounds in the form of Zairian (Congolese) music. The Beaters transformed into a pan-African rock-funk ensemble with a strong concept of Black Consciousness. They changed their name to Harari, after a township near Salisbury, Rhodesia.
Harari founder and band leader Selby Ntuli died in 1978 during a failed tour in America undertaken on the invitation of Hugh Masekela. Mabuse took over and transformed the band into a registered business and collaborative ensemble. He was given his moniker “Hotstix” at this time, after a particularly inspired drum solo. Harari was the first black pop group on SA TV and they entered the American Disco Charts in 1982 with the single Party. However, despite the commercial success, conflict over money and leadership sent the band members in separate, solo directions.
Some of the highlights Mabuse recalls from his more than 50 years in the music industry, include the 46664 concerts in London and New York, and the Southern African tour with Eric Clapton that took them to Swaziland and Namibia for Independence celebrations and Mozambique for the peace accord.
He says: “The most important part is being able to do what I do and bring joy to people who come to support and watch me perform.”
In 2012, just before his 62nd birthday, Mabuse went to Thaba Jabula High School in Klipspruit to study and complete his matric examinations, a move that earned praise from President Jacob Zuma. Mabuse has since enrolled at Unisa to study anthropology.
In October 2016, two weeks short of his 65th birthday, Mabuse travelled to the Maputo Morejazz festival to receive recognition for his 50 years of performing and recording achievements in the South African music industry. He performed Burn Out alongside Judith Sephuma and Moreira Chonguica.
Mabuse met with students at the University Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo and emphasised the importance of reading. “Let us all begin to go back to books. Forget about your economics subjects that you think are going to make money for you, there is education beyond that. And then you begin to understand how important the cultural values and the music you listen to, plays in what you do,” he said.
Outspoken on the issues of leadership and the wisdom economy, Mabuse said: “I have always considered artists as creators of the wisdom economy. Arts and music speak to the soul and heartbeat of the country.”
Mabuse is committed to upliftment through music. He’s received extended recognition in South Africa, has sat on the boards of The National Arts Council and the South African Musicians Rights Organisation and received a SAMA lifetime achievement award. He is also chairperson of the annual Music Exchange Conference in Cape Town. Music Exchange brings presenters from the music industry together with young musicians to share their knowledge and experience. “It is simple,” says Mabuse. “Success is a product of hard work and dedication. And don’t believe the hype because when the phone stops ringing, what next?”
Today he’s in the early stages of writing his memoir with his manager Martin Myers. They’re working on concepts to piece together this legendary story and promote it. Their plans include touring the smaller South Africa towns, such as Queenstown, Caledon and Franschoek – places Mabuse’s never played in. They’re also planning a free show for the people of Soweto, where Mabuse has lived all his life, to thank them for their support.
This year, one of the world’s most admired and respected musicians – Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse – celebrates his 50 year anniversary in the music industry.
Highlights for Mabuse in 2016 include shows in Botswana and Swaziland and performances with the likes of Johnny Clegg. “I was even celebrated as the keynote speaker at Music Exchange #MEX16,” he recalls. “I also performed at the annual music indaba, Moshito, as well as part of Joy of Jazz and Metro FM, all while inviting a request to be the guest of honour at More Jazz, series six, in Maputo. Media support has been amazing. Thank you,” Mabuse adds. “Particular thanks must go to Kaya FM, who gave me a whole day to celebrate the work we are doing and we even got the hashtag #Hotstix to trend.”
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 32 years since I released Burn Out. I am humbled by all the love and support. Thank you, all.”
As for 2017, Mabuse says, “I have started on my book. It will be a memoir of my life, and it will be out in September next year. There will also be a national tour. I’m not about to stop walking on my road. I’m a voice in a space that speaks truth to power.”
Thank you to the following team
Sound – Sound Corporation – Mark de Klerk
Technical Production Lighting, design, concept and operation – JP Willson
Publicity Martin Myers and Samm Marshall
Event management – Razia Myers, Casey Barclay
Ticketing – Naledi Mabuse, Palesa Mabuse
Show produced by Sipho Mabuse and Martin Myers
Lyric Theatre – Calum Stevenson, Zara Gafney, Graham Brune
Video recording – Paul Hughes
Live sound recording – Richard Mitchell