The BALA family siblings have all certainly travelled a long path from the tough streets of their birthplace in the Kwa-Nobuhle township outside Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape. Thankfully their epic journey has always been paved with music and song, and now the BALA name is set to leave another proudly South African musical legacy that will shine for many decadestocome.
Songwriter, musician, producer, arranger, performing artist, DJ, TV personality … the family’s multi-talented oldest brother ZWAI BALA hardly needs an introduction, while his hugely popular younger brother LOYISO BALA has carved out an impressive solo recording career for himself. Now, with both Zwai and Loyiso’s own stars burning brightly, they’ve joined forces with their prodigiously gifted younger brother PHELO BALA to form a trio known simply as … BALABROTHERS.
17 year old Phelo, has followed in his brothers footsteps. He was Deputy Head Boy during his final year at the internationally renowned Drakensburg Boys Choir School in Kwa-Zulu Natal, the very same illustrious institution where Zwai and then Loyiso really began their musical journey. The Bala Brothers have already performed a handful of well-received gigs, including a debut appearance on SABC2’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, Rand Merchant Bank’s annual Starlight Classics event, and Miss South Africa 2006.
Now, their highly anticipated debut album entitled B3 is released … The stunning album features a unique mix of songs, ranging from popular ‘Popera’ standards such as ‘Circle Of Life’, ‘Beauty And The Beast’ (which features the glorious voice of special guest Judith Sephuma), ‘You Raise Me Up’, and Queen’s ‘Somebody To Love’, through to operatic numbers such as ‘Nella Fantasia’, ‘Caro Mio Ben’ and ‘All I Ask Of You’, the latter featuring the soaring vocals of internationally acclaimed soprano Angela Kerrison.
Recording the bulk of the songs with a full orchestra under the baton of Richard Cock, the album is a world-class record that sees the Bala siblings in harmonious voice as they stamp their incomparable musical class on the South African music scene. The majority of tracks were produced by Zwai himself, while Loyiso also lent a hand in this department.
Perhaps most interestingly, the album also features several Loyiso and Zwai Bala-composed original tracks (‘Masibuyelayane’, ‘Khumbula’ and the bonus track ‘Beautiful Women’) that shine alongside ‘classic’ South African tunes such as ‘Silvia’ and ‘Ziph’inkomo’. These songs add an unmistakable and exciting local dimension to the album.
A stunning music video for the ‘Khumbula’ track has been created, and will shortly be seen all over TV screens nationally. A full documentary charting the Bala Brothers’ story – and the making of the debut album – has also been shot, and will be a useful tool with which to tell the latest chapter in the truly amazing story of three truly gifted individuals.
2008 has been a whirlwind year for the “Brothers” with a fair amount of international travel. The guys have had the priviledge of performing in countries like Norway, Germany, Australia and Zambia. In addition to that they have also managed to put together their sophomore album which is representative of the modern day South Africa. Produced by Zwai Bala and Cobus Snyman, the album titled “Strome van Seen” is the personification of the constant progression of the B3 brand. Encompassing vocal prowess coupled with awesome and crossover song selection, this album will certainly entrench the Bala Brothers in the mind’s of a greater South African audience.