Penny Penny, “Shichangani”

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penny penny

Penny Penny (who we promise has no relation to a companion track post on Blanche Blanche Blanche) is the latest in the Awesome Tapes From Africa label to get a shiny new reissue. The album is Shaka Bundu and the story behind South African politician and humanitarian Penny Penny is as fascinating as the record's first revealed single. Penny Penny was an impoverished janitor working at a record label in the 90s who was secretly sleeping and living in the studio while learning how to tinker with the equipment. After almost being fired and kicked out of the studio, he had a run-in with famed Tsonga producer Joe Shirimani, who listened to some of Penny Penny's early demos, and was blown away. The full story is absolutely fascinating, as Penny Penny's Tsonga provenance prevented his success in the early stages of his career, but inevitably skyrocketed him to fame after the dissolution of apartheid. The reissue's first track is “Shichangani” and it's so dancy and light that it's hard to believe it comes from a place of trouble and triumph.

You can see Penny Penny's magnificent backstory through FACT, then stream/download the track below. The full album will release through Awesome Tapes From Africa on Novebmer 12.