Jonathan Mbiriyamveka Entertainment Reporter
The long awaited Extended Play (EP) from Evicted will be launched today at Misty’s in Newlands. The album is electrifying, original, energetic, melodic and funky. It’s title track is called “Ndoita Sei”.
The group, made up of Derek Bailey, Dominic Benson, Justin Soutter and Theo Rohde, has been wowing audiences in the locally, regionally and in Australia for the last seven years. Most recently they were featured on CNN promoting Harare’s night life. They were also the winner of Battle of the Bands in 2013.
Their genre can be described as a blend of traditional African music and Rock, now dubbed “Afro-Rock Fusion”. They have also created a new genre of music that has its roots in diverse African music.
For those not in the know, the members were all Zimbabwean born and raised. They all have a wild passion to be the best musicians they can be. They have many influences from the likes of Thomas Mapfumo to Nirvana to Marcus Miller, George Benson, Steve Vai, Four Brothers and many more.
Derek, who is founder of the band holds a Bachelor of Pop Music Degree which he attained in Australia. He is an accomplished vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, engineer and producer. He teaches both vocal training and guitar. Dominic, whose influences are funk, jazz and black gospel is a seasoned bass player. He has been playing the bass for 16 years. He has worked in most of Harare’s major musical events which include the Harare International Festival for the Arts, A Academy, Italian Jazz Festival and Reps Theatre Productions.
He has shared the stage with Oliver Mutukudzi, Andy Brown, the late Brian Sibalo, Kudzai Sevenzo, the Rusike Brothers, Israel Houghton, Kunle Ayo and many more. He is currently a licensed music promoter as well as producer, song writer and music teacher.
Justin has many years of experience playing the drums. He has worked with many of the top local acts including Sabuku, Authentik, Utopia, Jazz Invitation and Celebration Choir. His forte is jazz, R&B and rock genres. He is currently the Drumset Instructor at Harare International School. Theo, the youngest member of the band, grew up on a farm in Bromley. Growing up in a multi racial and cultural family exposed him to all sorts of music from Machikosi and Lucky Dube to Eric Clapton and the Police.
He started listening to other types of music when his family moved to Harare in 2002. Theos passion for music was stirred in 2008 after he completed High School. He studied at the College of Music for one and a half years and soon after that he was discovered by the band and was asked to join.
After recording and releasing their current CD “Place Called Home” in 2008 in Queensland Australia and a headlining stint on the prestigious international charity concert “Zimfest” in Brisbane, the band, ultimately homesick, were ready to head back to a slowly stabilizing Zimbabwe and Government of National unity.
They wasted no time on their return, with a South African tour in April, which saw them passing through Johannesburg, Durban, and Pretoria, wowing audiences with their unique and passionate style.
Blunt Magazine described the group as: “Switchfoot meets The Ataris meets Rural Africa” Plenty of headlining shows in Zimbabwe and Zambia followed, as well as earning the support slot for SA heavyweights Prime Circle on their visit to Zimbabwe. The band also saw themselves added to SA’s Southern Pulse booking agency alongside some of SA’s most important bands. They headlined Zimbabwe’s biggest annual charity concert “Rock Down Harare” in October, and the band performed their biggest gig ever in December 2010, when they played the “Falls Fest over new years 2010” in Victoria falls alongside The Parlotones, Mann Friday, Ghapi and more.
Evicted shared the stage at Falls Fest 2011 and 2013, with Locinville and Ghapi and many more. Evicted is a group that has proved its experience in the business and are here to “Afro-Rock Zimbabwe”.