‘Amaqatha Amancane’ is the latest track from the

South African 5-piece vocal group’s self-titled debut album (out Friday 21st June 2024).



Watch their recent appearance alongside Doja Cat at this year’s Coachella HERE and watch the video for ‘Amaqatha Amancane HERE

Having joined Doja Cat to open her headline performances on both weekends of this year’s Coachella Festival, South African vocal group The Joy have today shared the song and video for ‘Amaqatha Amancane’, the latest track to be taken from their self-titled debut album which is out on Transgressive Records on Friday 21st June 2024.

Recorded live during one live take at the renowned Church Studios in Crouch End, London during the album session, the track showcases the astonishing vocal talent of the 5 group members – Pastor (Ntokozo Bright Magcaba), Duzie (Melokuhle Mkhungo), Guduza (Sphelele Hlophe), Sthombe (Phelelani Sithole) and Marcus (Sanele Ngcobo) – who have been together since meeting at school.

Explaining the story behind the track, The Joy said:

“The track tells the tale of a Sunday at the ‘Shisanyama’, a place where South Africans go to eat, drink, listen to music and hang out. It paints a picture which will be familiar to all South Africans, these are places where people from all backgrounds come together to enjoy themselves and celebrate life. The song itself describes the miserly actions of a chef grilling meat and the calling out of their actions which are firmly not in keeping with the spirit of the ‘Shisanyama’.

 Watch a recent impromptu live rendition of ‘Amaqatha Amancane’ HERE


Listen to ‘Amaqatha Amancane’ HERE


 The track is accompanied by a video which was filmed by Up The Game (the creative team behind Liam Gallagher: Knebworth 22 and Tonight with: Arlo Parks) at the live recording of the album.

With regards to their  astonishing Coachella appearance, it came about after they were hand-selected by Doja Cat as a guest and they provided lead vocals alongside the American rapper on two of her tracks; recent single, ‘Acknowledge Me’ and ‘Shutcho’ which was reimagined to incorporate lyrics in Zulu – you can watch footage of the performance HERE and read more about it at The Guardian (5*) andBillboard.



 If you’re secular, you might call it serendipity, while others might call it divine intervention – the moment that The Joy sang together for the first time. This was the day that saw five teenage boys from the South African township of Hammarsdale turned up to their school choir practice earlier than the other boys; early enough to spontaneously jam a new song into existence. In that moment came the realisation that something beyond their collective understanding seemed to happen when they alighted upon the same song.

Growing up in a part of South Africa, where the Zulu tradition of a cappella singing is central to the cultural identity of its people and Ladysmith Black Mambazo have been worshipped for decades – their Grammy-winning success an authentication of the fact that the magic of isicathamiya music isn’t restricted to the townships where it flourished – The Joy’s harmonies hark back to yet another vocal tradition.  Mbube means ‘lion’, which gives some indication of the elemental power its practitioners summon when bursting into song. This seems to be the lineage into which lead vocalist Duzie seems to be tapping when he cuts loose from the intonations of his co-travellers, as if compelled to commune with the ancestral spirits whose music he invokes.

In the right hands, these songs can open the gates of heaven, so perhaps it’s not so surprising that, for The Joy, they open the gates to places they’d never imagined they’d see with their own eyes. First prize in a municipality-wide singing contest earns them something in the region of $1,300, which they divided in five and sent straight to their families, where it’s most needed. Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson pronounce themselves fans, the latter calling them “my favourite group” and inviting them onto her US talk show.

Sessions produced by longtime champion Two Inch Punch amass millions of streams either in spite or because they correspond to nothing else competing for your attention in the modern musical firmament.

And, displaying the brotherhood that they say bonded them together from that very first session, they insist that the music speaks to them all with one voice, telling them what to do before they themselves are even aware of it.

Making their U.K. debut TV appearances last summer when the appeared on the BBC coverage of Glastonbury and as part of Jools Holland’s 30th anniversary Later… show it was instantly apparent here was a group able to summon  with their music that holy shiver you feel when you drop the needle onto Sam Cooke’s version of Nearer To Three, Jeff Buckley performing Lover You Should Have Come Over or  hear Buju Banton singing Untold Stories. These are the little epiphanies that feed our addiction to music.

Moments that erase the invisible membrane between artist and listener. When everything else falls away and feeling lost in music becomes the same as truly finding yourself in it

Pete Paphides, January 2024.


The Joy information



Pre-order the album HERE

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