By Yamato Tao | 26th May 2023 |
The Set - A Rising Sextet Shaping South Africa's Student Music Scene
In Johannesburg, South Africa, a group of talented 10th Graders are making waves in their local music scene. Known as “The Set”, this six-member band comprising Kea (bassist), Rosy (guitarist), Marang (drummer), Fadzai (pianist/vocalist), Mnotho (lead vocalist), and Eva (saxophonist) have combined their individual musical inclinations into an exciting and vibrant R&B and alternative ensemble.
Their story started in 2022 when Rosy chanced upon “Carino” by The Marias, sparking an idea to form a band to play similar music. Rosy and Marang, both enthusiastic about the concept, reached out to their musically-inclined friends, thus forming The Set. The band’s name is derived from the word “sextet”, representing their six-member lineup. Every member plays a critical role in The Set. While Rosy organizes practices, decisions on the repertoire are made collectively. Each member contributes by bringing in diverse music options that suit the band’s dynamic instrumentation. The band operates as equals, maintaining open communication, and fostering a harmonious working relationship.
Their journey hasn’t been without challenges. At their school, the band was often kicked out during their sessions. Yet, the band overcame this by showing their talent and dedication, allowing them to continue their sessions without any interruption. Furthermore, being a young band from a third-world country, they’ve faced underestimation. However, they counter these with their strong belief in the universal language of music. They also learned the importance of commitment in their journey, realizing that consistent practice and a shared dedication to the band’s success is key.
Musical Style and Influence
The Set’s music leans towards the R&B and alternative genres. Their repertoire includes covers of songs by artists like Steve Lacy, The Marias, and Mac Demarco. They celebrate the blend of various instruments in each song, ensuring a dynamic performance that resonates with their collective love for music.
Their most anticipated performance is slated for their school’s Spring Event, where they’ve been specially asked to perform. This engagement presents a significant opportunity for the band to shine in front of a diverse audience. They also dream of performing live at a restaurant or cafe, away from their familiar school environment.
“The Set”, always has been a band that has been committed to their performances and, from them, is a advice to all young artists aspiring to start music, or even those who are considering to go professional:
“To all the young people starting their own bands: stay committed, practice, and show up. Find people who share the same goals as you and work as a team together. Time will tell and your hard work and dedication will show.”
Rosy: My favorite part about being in a band is the fun and vibey atmosphere that we create with the music we play. It feels like a fun activity rather than a ‘practise’.
Fadzai: The best thing about playing in a band is definitely the environment. As you’re playing together, there’s a certain energy and vibe; being able to listen to each other and feel each other through the music that you’re making together.
Marang: Music is more fun and less nerve-wracking when you perform together as a group with people who understand.
Eva: I love hearing the product of people playing different instruments together-the fact that such different sounds can work together so well.
Kea: I would say my favorite part of working with the band is pulling all the instruments together to create the perfect melody. It has also given me a lot more confidence in terms of my own musical abilities.
Mnotho: My favorite part about playing in a music group is being able to be involved in doing something I enjoy with my friends. Everyone is really talented and it warms my heart everytime we are able to bring a piece together.
The Set aspires to perform regularly, expand their repertoire, and demonstrate their full potential. Although their impending graduation threatens to disband them, they are determined to maximize their current opportunities and leave an unforgettable mark on their local music scene. As The Set continues to evolve, they provide a fresh, exciting perspective to Johannesburg’s music scene. Their dedication and shared passion for music make them a beacon of inspiration for other young musicians in their community.