Thabo Mkwananzi and his trio of amazing live musicians, The Real Deal, combines old-school soul sensibilities with heady political messages and infectious grooves.
Featuring the talents of Aron Kyne on Rhodes piano, Emmanuel Allert on acoustic guitar and Ali Mac on percussion, The Real Deal are an acoustic soul band that pack a punch and hit you where it hurts.
Thabo says their main aim is to ‘make the type of music Bob Marley would listen to if he were still alive’ – and their mix of political activism, social awareness and bare knuckle soul definitely echoes the sentiments of the late great reggae master.
So far, they’ve only released a couple of EPs through Bandcamp, the latest being World War Free, which surfaced early last year. It’s a laidback offering that weaves jazz, spoken word and soul influences with more than a whiff of social conscience.
With more material on the way, the outfit signed to Sony/ATV late 2013.
Although they've been keeping to themselves so far this year, the band resurfaced last week for a Small Green Shoots showcase at Hall One in Kings Place, London, playing an intimate set to a packed crowd, including their friend and supporter Emeli Sande.
Now, with a few successful industry showcases under their belts, including a spot at the coveted Metropolis Studio Sessions, the fusion four piece look set to make their mark on 2014.