First Listen: Adam Rios feat. Shota – Never Let You Go (Quantize Recordings)
‘Never Let You Go’ (without diggin’ deeper from now) is pretty much how I felt back in 2011. This when discovering Shota on the vibrant ‘Yini Ngawe’. One of the highlights of Culoe De Song‘s ‘Elevation’ album as a matter of fact. Thus bringin’ us to check each of the man’s new releases with the greatest care from then on.
Unsurprisingly Shota enlightens us once again. This time along with Timmy Regisford‘s production partner (Adam Rios). Bringin’ his unique blends of English and Zulu on the deep’n jazzy soulful ‘Never Let You Go’. And what a vibrant love declaration we have at the end. With the whole over one of those typical intoxicating bumpin’ basslines along with keys somehow reminding of Kool & The Gang‘s ‘Ladies’ Night’ and other Johnny Guitar Watson‘s ‘Booty Ooty’.
Masterpiece… Never let you go!
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Born in Durban, RSA, Mnqobi Mdabe (aka Shota) grew up and went to school in Umata in the Eastern Cape. After matric, he enrolled at the Natal Technikon in Kwa-Zulu Natal for a diploma in music. He eventually also worked as a voice lecturer at a college from Ntuzuma township.
It’s during this period that he came to meet Nkosinathi Maphumulo and Thandukwazi Sikhosana. In other words Black Coffee and Demor. The three of them forming an Afro-Pop trio named SHANA (Simply Hot And Naturally African) back in 1997.
Those of you familiar with our Facebook page might pretty much remember as to how we favorited ‘Yini Ngawe’. A cut standing among the highlights of Culoe De Song‘s ‘Elevation’ album back in 2011. With Shota launching his solo career soon after.
Speaking of his influences, he quotes Busi Mhlongo and the Soul Brothers. But also Ladysmith Black Mambazo, “who were celebrated at home as well as overseas…”
He created his own label – Shota Music – where he has released 4 albums so far, including the 2015 ‘Timeless’. An album which has seen him collaborating with US producers Timmy Regisford, Adam Rios and Mark Francis.
Shota has received extra echo abroad with UK label Tribe Records licensing three of his songs. From ‘Be 10’ to ‘Say Something’. With ‘Never Give Up’ completing the list as of yet. This in addition to the intoxicating ‘Never Let You Go’, from Adam Rios‘ ’34 Vandam’ album. Meanwhile the connection with both his US producers and British label continues in 2018 with the release of ‘Smile’ featuring an additional remix courtesy of Manoo. Shota closing his account for 2018 along with Steal Vybe on the abyssal ‘Memories’ (Ocha Records).