Thabisa, Fernanda and the Ephemeral
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“We went through a pretty dramatic shift with this record,” says Seratones frontwoman AJ Haynes. “The band lineup, the creative process, the sound: all of it changed in ways that really reflected our growth and evolution.”One listen to ‘Power,’ Seratones’ spectacular sophomore album, and it’s clear just how much of an evolution has taken place. Produced by Cage The Elephant guitarist Brad Shultz, the record finds the Shreveport five-piece trading in the brash proto-punk of their critically acclaimed debut for a timeless brand of gritty soul, one that takes its cues from vintage Motown and Stax even as it flirts with modern synthesizers and experimental arrangements. Haynes’ captivating voice remains front and center here, but her delivery this time around is more measured and self-assured than ever before, a beacon of confidence and clarity amidst a sea of social and political turmoil. Perhaps even more marked than the any sonic development on the record, though, is Haynes’ lyrical turn, which points her gaze inwards for the first time as she grapples with race, gender, and justice, writing with an unfiltered honesty that at once exudes strength and vulnerability, hope and despair, beauty and pain.
“I learned to tap more into my own stories with these songs,” says Haynes. “I came to recognize that I have this lineage and these inherited experiences that are beautiful and worthy of exploration. The more personal my writing got, the more deeply I was able to connect with people.”Seratones have been chasing those kinds of deep connections since 2016, when they first rocketed into the national spotlight with their breakout debut, ‘Get Gone.’ Rolling Stone called the album a “fitful collision of punk, soul and jazz echoing out of a shed strewn with whiskey bottles,” while Pitchfork praised the collection’s “soulful grease and punky grit,” and NPR hailed it as “lean and compact, with an impressive assortment of anthemic stompers.” The music earned the band dates on the road with artists as varied as St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, The Dandy Warhols, and Drive-By Truckers, along with festival slots from Hangout to Newport Folk and invitations to perform on national television and at NPR’s Tiny Desk.
THABISA’s story begins in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Born and raised by her grandparents in KwaZakhele township, she could always be found singing and dancing outside her home. Neighbors gave her the name “Little Brenda” for the legendary South African pop star Brenda Fassie.
In 2012 she entered the national singing competition, Idols South Africa, and finished in the Top 18. The following year, she signed on with the independent record label Tammy Music and produced two albums, Eyodidi (2015) and The Journey (2013).
Thabisa received a nomination for Best Video at the South African Traditional Music Awards (SATMA) for the song “Vula” off her first album, The Journey. Musically, she finds inspiration from the likes of Miriam Makeba and Billy Holiday, and has shared a stage with living legends Caiphus Simenya, Bebe and Cece Winans, Thandiswa Mazwai and Freshly Ground.
Thabisa currently lives with her family in the United States. "What makes my music worthwhile, is the opportunities it opens for me to work with children and inspire them to dream big" she explained. THABISA volunteers with children using music, cultural exchange, and story-telling.
THABISA traveled along the coast and shared her music in the Eastern Cape and landed in PSJ where she started a band. She traveled to surrounding cities throughout the Eastern Cape area, Durban and Cape Town performing. During that time, THABISA took part in the IdolsSA competition where she reached the top 18. She is also most passionate and involved in Children's/youth volunteering programs, performing at schools in the Eastern Cape, motivating pupils and Teachers. Since August 2012 THABISA and the band has performed at The Heritage Day Music Festival, with Zonke and Ringo and at The Wild Coast Cultural Festival. Currently Thabisa has released her debut album under an independent label Tammy Music and music is distributed by Next Music. You can find her music at Musica and Dakota Stores also on iTunes, Kalahari.com and Amazon.
FERNANDA AND THE EPHEMERAL
The limits of humanity have been reached. The world is seeking a soothing balm to heal the wounds of modern time. We find our hero Fernanda standing at the precipice, ready to use the power of The Ephemeral to heal the world one note at a time.
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