Alt Rock Trio Shameless Changing the Status Quo – Shameless are a trio from Soweto, South Africa, where they are one of a small but growing number of rock/alternative bands. Their music is influenced by the music they grew up with, they have dubbed their sound Nkabi Rock / I Rock Yase Kasi (Assassin Rock / Rock from The Township, in isiZulu).
Shameless – The Music
Their sound is described as “an extension of rock” which fuses metal, blues, kwaito, mbaqanga, isigxaxa and a smattering of jazz. On the 27th of September they will release the second single from their upcoming album “Nkabi Rock” (to be officially announced soon).
Their new single “Nakhu Ses’Fika” begins with a marching pattern on the snare & kick. Broken by a short fill and the entrance of the thundering bass & distorted guitar. Sitting somewhere between doom & punk. The driving riffs are broken from time to time by clever little melodic pieces that the band play together. This gives the listener a second to catch their breath before diving in again.
The opening lines are “Nakhu Ses’Fika Kau, Siyajika Lento Kau” meaning “we’ve arrived and are going to change things/turn them on their head”. In some ways this sentiment is an introduction to Shameless. A warning to anyone not paying attention, they’re coming in hot.
The band members (Thabang Khonje, Musa Zwane & Thabo Masina aka Rock Ruler Live) met on stage at a local, community jam session called Sawubona Music Jam. They instantly “knew they had fire and a musical connection like the holy trinity”.
They played their first shows without a name, but with their first batch of original songs. As the need for a name grew they looked at themselves and their surroundings. Rock music is very rare in South Africa, especially in the so-called eKasi, (townships) segregated neighbourhoods where black people were forced to live under apartheid.
Full with the energy of their music they realised how shameless they are to be mixing two cultures. Western rock music and African eKasi street culture. They are called Shameless Band on DSPs and Shameless Band SA on socials. You can call them Shameless.
Now in 2023, their 6th year as a band, they have achieved more than most rock bands could expect to in South Africa. From a Converse advert to the main stage at AfroPunk Festival and most notable stages & festivals in-between. They released their first EP “Impicabadala” in December 2021 with the lead single “4 x 4” that has since become something of a cult anthem in South African alternative communities.
Their electrifying live show has seen them play all over the country to audiences that never quite seem to get their fill. Despite the encores, the fans want more. This has made shameless a darling of local promoters – who all know how to fill a room. Simply book Shameless.
The band have come a long way since their very DIY beginnings. Recording their debut EP “Impicabadala” and playing every small stage or room that they could find. They are signed with von Plato’s DiscovrMe (indie label) which is underwritten by Tic Tic Bang.
The combination of the organisations and producer means that Hugh Davison, Finn MacKinnon and Julian von Plato have stepped into management, production and label roles. With the combined goal of growing Shameless’ audience both in South Africa and in international territories.
According to Musa “This year was a year of getting our shit together. We’re slowly getting there and looking forward to getting back on stage to celebrate the release of the new music.”