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Jeremy Loops and Ladysmith Black Mambazo collab on This Town, taken from Souvenirs EP

by Khyle Deen. Published Sun 10 Oct 2021 20:44

Jeremy Loops is an unstoppable musical force following a series of releases that have amassed him over 180 million streams and growing. Now, Jeremy comes full circle to celebrate one of the most significant and influential moments in his life … a collaboration with the legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The new Souvenirs EP features the momentous This Town single with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and unites generations of South Africans through their shared love of music.

“We would like people to get a sense of self-worth from the song and to be encouraged to work towards what they want in life and be patient and know that it will all work out in the end and don’t be shy to ask for help if things are tough.” – Ladysmith Black Mambazo

As one of the most iconic vocal groups in the world, Ladysmith Black Mambazo formed in the 60’s to create traditional world music with energetic, uniquely spirited harmonies. Throughout their celebrated career, the group have won five Grammy awards and seventeen nominations for music that honors their proud heritage. Jeremy Loops’ special bond with the group formed from an upbringing that brimmed with musical curiosity and included Graceland, the Paul Simon album that was inspired by and widely features Ladysmith Black Mambazo. His first experience of the astounding vocal power in Ladysmith Black Mambazo ended in tears for the young creative who was left in complete awe.

As a self-taught musician, Jeremy’s South African background was filled with sunshine-soaked melodies, a love for surfing and constant Bob Dylan-esque experimentation. When he’s not writing or singing, Jeremy finds inspiration in environmentally leaning work such as his co-founded eco-initiative, Greenpop. A much-loved household name in his home country, Jeremy’s mountain of successes include collaborations with world-renowned acts like Ed Sheeran, Simone Felice (The Lumineers), Jake Gosling (Shawn Mendes), Tobias Kuhn (Milky Chance), and Carey Willets (Dermot Kennedy).

The Souvenirs EP includes the feel-good summer anthem, Postcards, released earlier this year. Speaking about the EP, Jeremy says “We had this huge plan for 2020 to drop an album and tour, but yeah, plans don’t exactly survive pandemics. So instead, I asked myself if I could pick anybody in the world to write with, who would that be? And if I could write any kinds of songs, even ones that wouldn’t traditionally make it onto an album, what would those be? This wonderful collection of songs on Souvenirs and being bold enough to reach out to LSBM is a result of asking those questions in an otherwise strange time.” – Jeremy Loops

In preliminary discussions with Jeremy, Ladysmith Black Mambazo felt This Town song was perfect as it was. Still, their leader S’bong Shabalala went on to say, “anything else for me would ruin the song but then I thought, it’s his song, if he wants us to mess it up, we will!”

Immediately, This Town sees this affectionate, easy-going relationship between Jeremy and the group playout. Clearly, Jeremy’s familiarity with Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s rich, rhythmic work matched with his captivating, exuberant personality has led to a heart-warming collaboration with a message. This Town intentionally injects pure hope and bravery into the listener, and bursts with an addictive energy that’s laced into the spirit of the song. The poignant Xhosa chant reiterates the integral nature of community and passion that both artists stand for, ‘my life is music, and music is my life


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