Nothing Major alumni, Go Barefoot releases a new single, “Johannesburg”.
It’s been just over a year since we last spoke to Go Barefoot and hosted them at the launch of our Nothing Major series of events. Although the group has not played any major festival, as they had hoped to, they have achieved a considerable amount in 365 days. With performances at Boosh, Sofar Sounds, and Jozi On Fire, Go Barefoot is definitely one of the bands flying the flag high for Johannesburg.
It’s a rare thing,unless you’re a rapper, for musical artists to sing about Johannesburg nevermind name a song after the economical capital of South Africa. Johannesburg isn’t quite as romanticized as a California or even a Cape Town. People come to the city of gold to get their own piece of the gold—which is why it holds more gravity for a rapper to claim that they run jozi.
In “Johannesburg” Saul tells of a Johannesburg that is changing. Not the Johannesburg of the suburbs, but a Johannesburg of the city, where more and more of the youth are reclaiming the pavements of gold and dismantling that image of the city of Johannesburg which frightens most. The city has become a melting pot of music, fashion, art, and culture, where anyone can find a place.
‘I’m just a boy from Johannesburg’ is an interesting notion as it can be interpreted as overflowing with potential, capable to do anything and at the same time can be seen as a place that makes it difficult to progress and reach your potential. Like many large cities. This is the idea I wish to leave the listener with. What does living in Johannesburg mean to you?”
The kwela-jive influenced “Johannesburg” is a throwback to the 50’s when Sophiatown was the vibrant epicentre of creativity with its multicultural community. It was a place where artists, writers, and musicians could thrive. With “Johannesburg”, Go Barefoot connects that period to the current transformational state of Johannesburg with it’s endless possibilities and freedom of creative expression.