A KSUT Interview With Johnny Clegg

Apr 19, 2016

We spoke with the South African musician ahead of his show in Durango tonight.

Johnny Clegg is called Le Zoulou Blanc, or 'The White Zulu' by some. The South African musician has made a career of writing and performing songs that mix English lyrics with African and Western music styles.

He founded the band Juluka in the late 70s. They were the first mixed-race group to gain wide acceptance in South Africa, but only after enduring several years of Apartheid-era harassment and censorship

Savuka, Clegg's next project, began in 1985, but with different musicians and a slightly more keyboard-driven sound than its predecessor. Savuka toured widely, and broke up in 1993. Clegg has had an active solo career since then, and his most recent album, Human, was released in 2010.

KSUT's Mark Duggan spoke with Clegg by phone this week, ahead of his Tuesday April 19 performance at Fort Lewis College's Community Concert Hall.

Clegg talked about how his early love for Celtic music transformed into a love for authentic Zulu music. He also spoke about the differences between Juluka and Savuka. We also learned that he'll be covering everyone from Randy Newman to Jethro Tull to Toni Childs on an upcoming album of cover songs.

Johnny Clegg plays the Community Concert Hall Tuesday April 19 at 7:3o p.m.