Their story reads like a fairy tale. Three creatives meet, form a band and make a song. In a matter of weeks the song takes over the airwaves and propels them to the top of the charts and the centre of music lovers’ hearts. Only thing is this isn’t a fairy tale, it’s the story of Mi Casa.
In an industry where most success stories are precluded by accounts of struggle and strife, Mi Casa’s rise to stardom is undoubtedly a work of wonder. Their ability to efficiently compliment each other on a musical scale is unparalleled and ever so evident in their music.
It feels slightly uncomfortable to say Mi Casa are ‘only’ on their second album because despite being on their sophomore release, their first album in itself ushered in a new era in South Africa’s house scene and literally bestowed them with instant legendary status. Likened to Tortured Soul, who happen to be one of their biggest inspirations, the group has become synonymous with a refined and mature sound that traverses across multiple age groups, cultures and races. Their latest offering, Su Casa, smashed records by literally hop, skipping and jumping to gold status in a matter of days. Even as we speak the album is on the cusp of reaching platinum status with only one single out and six more to go!
“If you look at music in South Africa over the past 15 to 20 years it’s really been a black and white painting. What we want to be is a band that’s known for bringing colour into that painting.”
But putting together Su Casa was no easy task for the group and the majority of the record was recorded outside the conventional studio setting. Vocalist, J’Something elaborates on just how much of a challenge the recording process was, “The first album we spent three months in the studio just doing an album whereas this time we had no time to record. We’ve been touring for the first album so it was really a lot of recording in hotel rooms and on the road.” However despite what may be perceived as a hindrance, the group has managed to create an album that still encapsulated the ethos of Mi Casa; meaningful music that carries a message beyond the euphoric feel good vibes. Unlike their debut, Su Casa also sees Mi Casa collaborating with three choice artists. The young and vibrant Jimmy Nevis lends his vocals on the delectable Feel The Love (my personal favorite on the album) while Black Coffee’s masterly touch can be heard on the uplifting Africa Shine. Lastly Mishka, most famous for Gelo Wandi by V.Underground, offers his richly exotic voice on the Latin-laced Bora Viver.
The lead single from Mi Casa’s new release and South Africa’s current dance anthem, Jika, is a soul infused number that not only has us all singing along in unison but also has even those with two left feet trying their hand at the catchy dance routine. At a time when most musicians are actively searching for a hit, Jika presents itself as an effortless jovial production. The minimalist approach the group takes with the simple percussion line, melodic Rhodes piano and jazzy guitar riffs coupled with J’Something’s sultry vocals gives Jika the perfect balance between soulful record and dancefloor banger. “We made Jika while at a sound check in Sun City. At the time we all thought it was wack but then we soon realized it was going to take over the whole nation!” And takeover the nation it has! Jika is one of the few songs to dominate the poll position on such a wide array of music charts from the urban market to the adult contemporary stations. A feat that’s nothing short of amazing!
Mi Casa Music
One of the most pleasant things about Mi Casa is not only the growth of the group but also the evident maturation of the individual artists. It’s inevitable that as the lead singer J’Something undoubtedly gets the most attention, especially from the females. But sonically there’s also been a shift in his vocal mastery. Mo T’s command of his brass beauty has also strengthened while Dr. Duda continues to push the boundaries of his production prowess. Although they’ll certainly be together for years to come, there is no doubt that each member of the group could just as easily hold their own if the day ever came where they decided to go solo.
Building the house
In the two years that they’ve been in the music industry, Mi Casa have been nominated for an MTV EMA award, scooped multiple SAMA awards, amassed a legion of fans and basically cemented themselves as one of the greatest to ever do it. In 2013 alone they have been nominated for the following; Channel O African Music Video Awards – Best Duo/Group (awards on 30 November). Drum Darlings – Most Idolised Musicians (awards on 7 November 2013) and the Feather Awards – Musician of the year. Yet despite all this the group still endeavors to make it strictly about the music. Although fans would like otherwise, a live DVD doesn’t seem to be in the near future for the collective as their focus remains solely on giving Su Casa the love and attention it deserves. Apart from their various endorsement deals, the centered effort towards their music is nothing but beneficial to the group. One has to remind oneself that the journey has really only just begun and their ability to literally take it anywhere they desire is astounding. For J’Something, Mo T and Dr. Duda, their dreams really have come true and in spectacular fashion at that. Much like their name, they’ve taken a passion for all things musical and embraced it to create a world where their creativity lives and is adored by all. Borders mean nothing to the group and their sound shall continue to resonate as far as our speakers care to carry it. With a sincere love for those who have embraced their sound and say “for us it’s about good music and trying to change people’s lives for the better,” Mi Casa leave some heartfelt parting words on the legacy they’d like to leave behind “If you look at music in South Africa over the past 15 to 20 years it’s really been a black and white painting. What we want to be is a band that’s known for bringing colour into that painting.” And there is no denying the spirit of unity that Mi Casa’s music has nurtured within all their listeners. The best way to sum it all up is by getting yourself a copy of Su Casa, indulging in its greatness and simply ‘Feeling the Love.’
Mi Casa Details