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Pops Mohamed to perform at Al Yarmouk Theatre
April 18, 2018, 9:56 pm

The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in partnership with the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyaah (DAI) of the State of Kuwait will host a Music Performance by Mr Pops Moahmed and His Group on Sunday, 22 April at 7:00pm at the Al Yarmouk Theatre.

Mr Mohamed’s performance forms part of the cultural programme of the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, depicting the vibrant arts and cultural relations and exchanges between the Republic of South Africa and the State of Kuwait.

Mr Mohamed is one of the most influential indigenous South African Musicians of his generation, known for playing of African indigenous instruments, vocals , keyboards , guitar, and said by many to be South Africa’s ‘unofficial Minister of Music’. He began his career in the 90s recording the music of the San from the Kalahari in Namibia and integrating it into various projects ranging from jazz and funk to drum ‘n’ bass and trance. Pops Mohamed has been known as a producer / performer and loves experimenting with the newest technology, always in the service of music!

At the age of 14 he founded his own first band The Les Valiants, with whom he played kwela, soul, pop and Latin music. With his band Children’s Society (early 70’s) he then recorded his first hit in the townships: I’m a married Man. In the 80s Pops worked more backstage as a producer and sound-engineer, while also learning to play the Mbira, African mouth bow, bird whistle, berimbau, thumb piano, didgeridoo, etc. At the same time he took more interest in traditional music from all over the world. As he put it: ‘If people don´t understand where they come from, there is a hole in their soul.’

In 1991 and 1992 he produced for the South African market the solo albums Kalamazoo, and Sophia Town Society, both nominated for the Best Jazz Album Award in the South African OKTV awards, now known as the South Africa Music Awards (SAMA). In 1995 he issued his international debut album Ancestral Healing, where he himself played the Piano, the Kora, the Mbira and various percussion instruments. This album won the 3rd annual FNB SAMA Award for Best Traditional Performance.

Some of the countries Pops toured to spread his message and still continue to do so include the USA, the UK, all the Scandinavian countries, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania (especially Zanzibar), Germany, Switzerland, Kathmando in Nepal, Vietnam, etc. 

The most successful result has been the album How Far Have We Come, the first product of his long-lasting connection to the San people from the Kalahari. He has produced several records with various artists such as trumpeter Bruce Cassidy, formerly with the band Blood, Sweat & Tears, the London Sound Collective, Basil Coetzee, Robbie Jansen, Gcina Mhlophe, Sipho Gumede, Khaya Mahlangu, Ntsiki Mazwai, Steve Newman, Emma Mthakathi (from New York) the imitable rapper Zubz, Andreas Vollenweider, Airto Moreira from Brazil, Madala Kunene, Busi Mhlongo, Amampondo, Mabi Thobajane, Max Lasser from Switzerland and many more.

Pops scored the music for the movie ‘The Whale Caller’ which was filmed in the beautiful town of Hermanus near Cape Town that is famous for the Southern Right Whales during spring and winter. ‘The Whale Caller’ won an award for best African movie at the Johannesburg Film Festival in 2016.

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