#23 Mumford & Sons with Baaba Maal, Beatenberg and The Very Best – Wona

This week’s selcted tune is ‘Wona’ by Mumford & Sons with Baaba Maal (a Senegalese music legend), Beatenberg (a South African pop group) and The Very Best (a London-based, Malawi-inspired jazz/ hip-hop act). ‘Wona’ is the latest offering from the upcoming mini-album ‘Johannesburg’.

‘Johannesburg’ (released June 17th) is a product of Mumford & Son’s South African tour recording in the title city. Matt of Beatenberg visited the group in Cape Town where they spent a couple of hours listening to music. After playing songs they liked to each other, the duo then sat down and wrote a rough chord structure of Wona together.

“A bit of brinksmanship but it was proper organic the way it came out. Then Baaba just came in and smashed down my favourite thing he’s ever sung on a verse. Then we danced a lot.

“Going to South Africa felt to us to be an adventure into a continent that none of us knew well. The appetite for live music is huge and the youth culture is exploding with energy and rejuvenation”

Mumford & Sons

Then there’s he legend that is Baaba Maal. Ben Lovett said, ‘Baaba really encourages ideas and brings the best out of the four us I think. He’s a natural leader, and you know you’ve struck the right chord (literally) because he’ll open his mouth and all of a sudden the most epic vocal line with be riding over the top of the music. It’s interesting, he won’t simply sing over anything, he’ll wait until he hears something in what we’re offering him.” This is a great musical and cultural collaboration.