Getting to know The Nameless Band
By Temba Msiza
Meet a new Afro-soul band that has been taking social media by storm. The Nameless Band released their debut single on April 21.
The band comprises of three versatile and extremely talented members, who are no strangers to the South African TV scene. There is the beautiful Gugu Zulu from Uzalo, the famous reality TV star, radio personality, actor and musician MaBlerh, and newcomer Sky (Scelo Yeni). We got to chat to the amazing members, so if you don’t know anything about them, then you are in for a treat, as we got the group to tell us everything about themselves and their plans. Indulge!
Who are The Nameless Band?
The Nameless Band is the new kid on the SA music scene powered by Afrotainment. We are fresh and cool, bringing a new element into the Afro Soul genre.
How did the name come about?
The funny thing about the name is that it is the only name that was ever considered for the group. Literally, it was the first name that Sky threw on the table after a joke about us not needing a name.
How was the group put together?
MaBlerh and Sky have been friends for 10 years. MaBlerh first heard Sky sing a Luther Vandross number (Always & Forever) at a karaoke bar back in Durban. MaBlerh had the idea to write music for Sky and during the writing session, the idea was then turned into a group project. MaBlerh went out and searched for a third member. Initially we got Nolu Ngwane, but she had to leave because of other commitments. MaBlerh then called Nay Maps who led him to Gugu Zulu.
How would you describe your sound?
We don’t know if it is fate or what, but the three of us happen to be obsessed with R&B, House and Gospel music talents. Gugu also has a francophone music obsession. Those are the elements that we have infused into the Afro Soul genre.
What inspired the song ‘Masiyeke’, and how was the writing process?
MaBlerh was actually at a restaurant in Melville on a Thursday afternoon and they were playing Cuban music. He had heard a guitar riff that made him pull out his phone and record the hook to Masiyeke. Then the group met on a weekend with DJ Speleti who played an acoustic version of it with. The song was completed when we met our producer King Dave; he and MaBlerh worked on the instrumentation and Sky added his verse. It is the song that made DJ Tira welcome us with open arms to Afrotainment. Unfortunately, there is no sad story to it, just a beautiful creative process.
What’s next for The Nameless Band?
Right now we are done with recording the debut album. It is in the mixing process. The video for Masiyeke is dropping very soon. That is the focus right now, to introduce people to our sound and make them aware that we do not just sing sad love songs, as some assume.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
The initial plan is to establish our sound so that anyone we collaborate with comes in knowing who we are. The plan is to collaborate with artists and producers that would never be normally considered for Afro Soul in order to keep our sound fresh and edgy.
How can your fans support you and your music?
We encourage people that love our debut single to request the song on their favourite radio stations, to buy our album when it drops, and to come and check us out when we perform. And also join the #MasiyekeRightBack challenge on our Instagram page, @TheNamelessBandZa.
What can fans expect from you internationally? Do you have a global plan?
Right now the plan is to make us a household name here at home with our debut album before flying the flag abroad. We do intend on going abroad and showcasing the reality that South African Afro Soul music has the ability to compete and play on the global stage commercially.
Share interesting/funny/quirky facts about yourselves.
Without letting the cat out of the bag, we are just crazy kids from Umlazi, Lamontville and Mandeni who thrive in clean fun, proud of the townships that we hail from and planning to fly their flags the way the Soweto kids have managed to do via music. Gugu has an obsession with baked goods. She also has ambitions and the talent to conquer the acting world. Sky, it is chicken wings and buying shoes. He also handmakes leather bags and wallets. MaBlerh, it is cooking for people, and he is a total car fanatic.
Will there be a tour anytime soon?
Our first leg of our tour begin will naturally begin in Durban in June 2017 after the album drops. We will release the exact date on our social media platforms before the end of May along with the track list. We have featured one extremely talented artist on the album. It will be special!