Bakithi Kumalo Releases New Solo Album, “What You Hear Is What You See”
Bass legend Bakithi Kumalo has released a new solo album called What You Hear Is What You See. The artist (renowned for his playing on Paul Simon’s Graceland among other credits) says the new ten-song collection is inspired by his journey from South Africa to the U.S. some 35 years ago as well as characters he’s met during his travels.
“This album is about my journey from South Africa, and everyone’s journey every day. It’s about connecting and was made to help people to remember to live in the moment, and keep moving forward,” Kumalo states. “Every day is a gift, so open it and see what’s inside! I like to be in the moment, enjoying a nice day, a beautiful walk with nature, and create. Plus, creating is much easier when there is a story, a journey. This is what I do every day, this is my journey. So look around, What You Hear Is What You See!”
Aside from his stellar bass work, Kumalo performs several instruments on the album: organ, kalimba, percussion, aerophone, keyboards, and vocals. Biodun Kuti handles the low end on one track – “Happy Village” – which has Kumalo on aerophone and marimba programming.
“There is no sadness in the Happy Village,” the liner notes read. “The first sounds invite you into a happy village in Northern Senegal. The base of this track is the recurring marimba groove running throughout the song, then Biodun Kuti added West African bass and he and Bakithi added happy African vocals and traditional voice sounds. Alex Blade Silver soared on Tenor Saxophone and EWI lifting the spirit of the song higher and higher, and Shawn Hennessey held the African rhythm down using the hadjira drum, sudro drum, and shakers. Ending with a happy village chant and taking it into the age of technology.”
What You Hear Is What You See Track List:
- What You Hear Is What You See
- Zululand Nation
- Desert Walk
- Let’s Be One
- Happy Village
- Electric Flow
- Nice Day
- Long Story Short
- Peaceful Water