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Maluleke, Jeff (South Africa)  
Jeff Malulekwe

IN September of 1995, Jeff Maluleke, then signed to CCP Records as Papa Jeff,approached the record company with a rough four-track demo containing what was to become the starting point for HAGONYA. Gone was the township pop of Papa Jeff which had already earned him a gold record and in its place was a new sound that Jeff saw as the future direction of his music.

Jeff’s passion for music started when he was at school in Bush-Buckridge and has found its expression in impromptu performance of his favourite cover versions, for diners in the school-dining hall. It was also at this stage that he met Pat Dubazane, a student of the guitar, and like Jeff, a passionate musician.

Having completed his studies Jeff moved to Johannesburg where he attended an engineering course at Primitive Studios. During the course he met Dr. Victor who hired him as a backing vocalist for the Rasta Rebels. Jeff was then invited to write a track with Dr. Victor and together they came up with “I Miss Your Love" which was released on the album “One Goal, One Wish"

The next phase in Jeff’s career arose from a chance of meeting Tronix, an old school friend, at a concert in Daveyton. Tronix invited Jeff to 999 Studios for a jamming session where he met Arthur Mafokate. So impressed with Jeff’s vocals was Arthur that he immediately set about recording a project entitled “Papa Jeff" The album was delivered to CCP and went on to sell in excess of 30 000 units, a gold disc achieving debut for Jeff and an artist contract with CCP Records.

Shortly afterwards Jeff and his song writing partner, Pat Dubazane, began harassing the A&R staff at CCP to listen to the material that they had been working on an over the last few years.

The record company saw potential in the material and within a week of having it presented to them Jeff and Pat were hard at work at RHYTHM NATION studios on their debut album. The quality of music attracted some of SA’s finest musicians to do session work, among Andy Innes of Juluka and Bizo of Bayete.

Genre: mbaqanga
Jeff Malulekwe

About the debut album “That’s The Way" Jeff had the following to say: “Underneath the sadness in this album lies a message of hope." Say Jeff; “If you cannot find it in the lyrics then you will feel it in the music. I have tried to present African music in a form that will make it accessible to all and hopefully bring people to realise that it is not only for Africans, but for the world to enjoy."

Some time later, on his recent tour to South Africa Jackson Browne required the services of a support act who could meet his very high standards. Of the several prominent acts submitted for his audition he chose Hagonya. The relationship was highly successful with Hagonya closing out their tour by performing two of Jackson’s tracks with him on the final night.

In 1997 Jeff was commissioned to write a song for World Environment Week. His re-arranged version of “That’s The Way" carries a message of responsibility to our planet’s maintenance and was available on CD single, part proceed’s of which were donated towards environmental conservation.

In March 1997 Hagonya was nominated as a finalist for an FNB SAMA award in the category “Best Group" along with Ladysmith Black Mmambazo, Cucumber Zoo, Stimela and Soweto string Quartet.

In March 1998 following the disbanding of Hagonya, Jeff went into studio at the Digital Cupboard, to work as a solo artist with renowned producer Thapelo Khomo. Three months of hard work have produced an outstanding album with the song-writing skills of Maluleke combining brilliantly with the feel of Khomo. This project has both consolidated Hagonya’s local appeal, through the exploration of South African cultural themes, and at the same time broadened the potential for export with a sound that is ready to be introduced to the rest of the world.

Artists of the stature of Papa Wemba and Salif Keita are called to mind upon listening to the record, but the music’s progressive nature compares more favourably with the likes of Wes and producer Michael Cretu.

The album entitled Dzovo, is a brilliant combination of African and Western influences drawing on the inspirations of Mbaqanga, Kwasa Kwasa, the melancholy folk of Tracy Chapman and Paul Simon, the pop ballads of George Michael and the funky samba beats of South America with the lyrics in English, Zulu and the poetic Tsonga vernacular. Jeff’s touching melodic vocals and hook - jammed choruses, coupled with a prominent acoustic thread is carried throughout by the guitars of Ntokozo and Andy Innes, make “DZOVO" a memorable addition to all record collections.

Jeff’s status as a live performing artist had also progressed. He has performed and continues to perform at events such as the Standard Bank Jazz Festivals, which have been headlined by the likes of Hugh Masekela and Sibongile Khumalo.

Jeff Maluleke © S.Gordon 2001
Juliana, Jeff’s millennium album and his 3rd recording, is a brilliant combination of African and Western influences. It draws on the inspirations of Mbaqanga, Kwasa Kwasa , the melancholy folk of Tracy Chapman and Paul Simon, the pop ballads of George Michael and the funky samba beats of South America with lyrics in English and the poetic Tsonga vernacular.

For the first time in his recording career Jeff decided that he was ready to tackle the task of putting a record together as a solo effort. He had been frustrated in the past by the transfer of his ideas to final product being compromised in the creative team’s interpretation of his work. Written, arranged and produced by Jeff, “JULIANA" is testimony to this young musician’s abundant talent.

Notable songs on the album are difficult to separate from the lesser as the work is appealing every note of the way. If one was to choose then Sala Nwana Mama, Juliana, Horisa, Mama and Rock of Zion stand out.

Jeff’s touching melodic vocals and hook-jammed choruses, coupled with a prominent acoustic thread, carried throughout by the guitars of Ntokozo and Andy Innes, make “JULIANA" a memorable addition to all record collections.

Jeff received a 2001 South African Music Award in the category "Best Producer" for his work on "Juliana".

Contact Details:

Making Music Artist Agency
P.O. Box 16626, Vlaeberg,
Cape Town 8018
South Africa
Tel:+27 21 439 7222
Fax:+27 21 439 8002
CCP Record Company
+27 11 406 4087
  Recordings : Maluleke, Jeff




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