One of South Africa’s most loved cross over artists, PJ Powers, aka Thandeka, has broken her four year silence by delivering the stunningly soulful album Sondela.
Although officially released in 2006, Sondela is only now being launched and it’s proving to represent more than just a comeback album – it’s PJ Powers’ brand new take on her life, her attitude and her new musical path.
PJ is known for the raspy Joplin-esque vocals and powerfully political anthems that brought unity to South Africa throughout the 80’s and 90’s. Her outspoken ways have seen her both revered and banned, but never quietened in her quest to create a more peaceful nation.
Her singing style has been a highly recognisable throughout the 25 years she has been a South African legend. Sondela sees PJ breaking new ground. By recording a smoother, jazzier album, her vocals had to be trained accordingly and the ‘belting out’ of songs has now been replaced with a strong, yet fluid singing style that surprised even herself.
Produced by Victor Masondo, Sondela is a thoroughly African album. Always the first lady of racial equality, PJ has continued to honour her inspirations and pay homage to her country of birth. Her lyrics are honest and thought provoking and tracks like ‘When Madiba Dances’ and ‘Rolihlahla’ bring out the patriot in us all through the respect paid to our ex-president.
PJ has also covered the larger-than-life Labi Siffre song ‘Something Inside So Strong’, a track that has been received so well during live performances, that it was chosen to be the first single from the album. Other top tracks include her remakes of ‘You’re So Good To Me’ and ‘Feel So Strong’, big tracks in her career, yet jazzed up and slowed down to show the more mature, more centred PJ Powers.
PJ, no stranger to the rockier side of life and love, has been through some tough times. Recently recovering from a severe bout of depression brought on by a broken relationship, she has emerged stronger and more active than ever before. She is performing extensively and plans to tour Sondela across the continent as well as internationally.
Sondela is PJ Powers’ 15th album to date and by far one of her best offerings in many years.