The Resilient Youth in Stressed Environments (RYSE) is a research project/campaign by the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and Dalhousie University (Canada). The research investigates youth resilience in communities that are impacted by the oil and gas industry in South Africa (Secunda/eMbalenhle) and Canada (Drayton Valley).
RYSE partnered with Khulisa Social Solutions, who approached Paradise Sound System (PSS) to help produce a song and video about their key findings and message of the research project and to help raise awareness.
Paradise Sound System brought in Yolanda Fyrus to help with the song. The song is an electronic Amapiano vibe called “Phumelela”, which was co-written by her and Aobakwe Molefe and produced by Jeffery Motapina also known as Star Jeff. Yolanda Fyrus, the artist mentioned, “firstly I heard that Kamo from Paradise Sound System wanted me to work on the song for the RYSE campaign with Khulisa Social Solutions, there was an excitement and also there was that nervous part of me because I did not know what you were expecting of me. So when I received the lyrics and melodies written and sung by Aobakwe, I struggled a bit to make it my own rendition as I was stuck to Aobakwe’s original idea. But I managed to give it a youthful twist that would resonate with the youth.”The sound is something that is appealing to the youth at the same time it has a meaningful message.
In September, Kamo Mailula, the project manager of the campaign at Paradise Sound System went to Secunda with Nilo, the videographer from NILO Studios, to shoot some content for the video that will go with the song. Kamo Mailula, Label Manager at Paradise Worldwide said: “there is definitely still more work to do in the community of eMbalenhle to uplift the youth and the community as there are some areas in the community that need to fixed or revamped to create a safe haven for the young kids, the youth and the entire community which could bring the community closer and try deal with the issues that affect the community and could be detrimental to the mental state of those growing in such areas.”
“What worked best for me with the Phumelela song was that it was aligned with the person I am, living in a community where you see the struggles that the youth face, such as teenage pregnancy, gender-based violence and substance abuse. I relate with the www.paradisesoundsystem.com
message of the song as it tells us that we should be resilient as the youth of South Africa and we should ask for help from the community in order to try to combat the issues and temptations that the youth face on a daily” Yolanda said. Jeffrey Motapina, the producer of the song said: “Phumelela is a powerful track that has a unique message behind it. Phumelela means to succeed or make it in life. Working with Yolanda on the song was the best thing ever because every time when we’re together in the studio, we resonate and make things happen. And as for producing the instrumental to the song, it was easy because Yolanda and I have the same taste in music.”
With Yolanda’s dulcet voice that delivers a melancholic hymn paired with Jeffrey’s creative arrangement of the instrumental, the Khulisa Social Solutions team and RYSE committee were elated with the outcome of the song. Here are some reviews from those involved in the campaign:
The song is nice to listen to, the beats are nice to hear too. Though I do not understand the language in the song but from the English words I’m hearing, I can also tell that the song has a good message – Sheena, UK
Minky, RYSE to Action Committee Member said: “We are contesting for song of the year. We have a hit with a strong message behind it. At home they don’t believe when I say this is our song.”
“Together we can make a change “. Sizophumelela. The lyrics are so simple and straightforward and very informative in my opinion there’s a lot every day I pick up something unique about the song,” said Simphiwe, RYSE to Action Committee Member.
From the Paradise Sound System, we would like to thank Khulisa Social Solutions and the Resilient Youth in Stressed Environments (RYSE) committee for trusting us with the campaign. And thank you to Yolanda Fyrus, Jeffrey Motapina and Aobakwe Molefe for making this meaningful song. To NILO Studios, we appreciate the production of the music video.
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Paradise Sound System
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Khulisa Social Solutions
Yolanda Fyrus Xashi
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Jeffrey ‘Star Jeff’ Motapina