I recently met up with the popular South African group, The Soil, known for a heavenly acapella sound they describe as “Melodic Medication” for the soul. Here I was panicking about organizing a low budget shoot for them only to realize I was going to be working with three very down to earth and grounded personalities. I guess their name, The Soil, suits them well. Though the group started off with 25 members in 2003, only three remain: Buhle (Soil Sister), Ntsika (Fana -tastic) and Phindo (Master P). We caught up with the Soweto residents to find out a little bit more about their newfound success and who they met.
AfriPOP!: How did you guys meet?
Ntsika: We met in high school in 2003. We had jam sessions every Friday. We always had a beat box. We always welcomed individuals to come join us if they felt they were talented enough to join us. We started off with more than 25 people. Not everybody was dedicated, people had other commitments and other project they wanted to pursue.
Were you always called the Soil?
Ntsika: No not at all. The three of us woke up one morning and fell for the name “Particles of the Soil.” At that time, Phindo and I were studying at the Vaal and Buhle was working. We tried calling the other guys who were in Soweto trying to tell them the new name. As we were about to dial they called us telling us that they think the name should be “The Soil.” It was such a scary coincidence. Same morning, same moment we thought of these names! We had a debate, “The Soil vs Particles of the soil.” Then we thought why become particles of the soil when we can just be The Soil.
Are you singing and performing full time nowadays?
Ntsika: Yea. We basically sacrificed everything for this. it wasn’t easy convincing the parents, but we sat them down and explained that this is what we are committed to. It’s incredible how we have seen our music transform people and we felt that we needed to hon- our our purpose. We see it as melodic medication for people’s souls. We understood from the word go that God was a very big part of this. Its exactly the purpose he created us for.
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What opportunities has this brought for you.
Ntsika: We recently came back from Tanzania. It was a celebration of Solomon Mahlangus birthday. It was such an honour for us to be part of that initiative. One of the other blessing we got was opening for Freshlyground on one of their tours. We also have one of our songs in a movie. The Movie is titled “Dark Tide” starring Halle Barry.
What words do you live by:
Buhle: Beside “Please” and “thank you,” my mother always reminds me never to forget where you come from, which is important, because in life we tend to forget our roots or forget the people who have helped us get to where we are today. So its important to remember our values and morals from home.
Phindo: If it feels right then it is right.
Ntsika: “God exists. Look around you”
What or who influences you?
This may sound cheesy but we have to mention the South African ladies that have passed. Mama Busi Mhlongo, Mama Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie. Those ladies! Then we have to add Simphiwe Dana, who will be attending the Historic Tours in New York event next year. We will be the only two acts from South Africa.