From the very first moment I heard “iSiGiDiMi” I was enchanted; and having subsequently spent time exploring it, I am officially spellbound!
With a musical interest sparked by his father [a self-taught guitarist], Mavo soon recognized his inherent love of the medium. He carried it with him and continued expanding his skill, but never considered carving a career as a musician.
Instead he went to university to study sciences, and qualified with a string of degrees in Mathematics, Physics and Mechanical Engineering.
Thereafter, to repay his studies, he spent 8 years working for SA’s energy giant, Eskom; before doing a brief stint as a corporate energy investment specialist.
But he could no longer ignore the call, so in 2006 he took the leap. Starting with his songwriting skills, he approached artists along a path that eventually led through Hugh Masekela, to a talented young producer, Erik Paliani.
Erik saw more than just a ‘songwriter’, and insisted Mavo was an artist in his own right. So they started recording his debut, “iSiGiDiMi”, and with their creative chemistry confirmed, they released the album and simultaneously launched their independent label, Maverick Records.
Besides being derived from their first names, ‘maverick’ is also appropriate in describing the music of this quiet revolutionary.
“iSiGiDiMi”, means ‘Important Message’, and while working on the songs, Mavo consciously sought an alternative to what he describes as: “the homogeneous music mix” in South Africa , which “robs the listeners of diversity”.
He sought a different sound musically and lyrically, explaining that:
“It is not easy capturing good ideas in a few lines of melody and verse. Hence, the idea of a musical sound ‘worth listening to’ was more appealing. This is my use of the word ‘Isigidimi’!”
Mavo has certainly succeeded in presenting a fresh South African folk sound, that’s sensitively rendered, soothing and has substance.
In totality “iSiGiDiMi” is musical magic – an inspiration that must be internationally spread!