Freddie Gwala was born and brought up in Soweto, starting off his music career by forming a group called Pure Gold in 1973 with his brothers. The group started singing in church before it caught the eye of veteran singer Blondie Makhene. In 1985 Pure Gold released an album titled Elami Likhona, that album is said to catapult them to new heights. The album sold more than 250000 copies. He also played a role in the formation of Platform One.
Freddie still produces and composes songs for these groups. Freddie has left his mark all over the country, contributing to albums from artists such as Blondie Makhene, Vusi Shange and Brenda Fassie. Freddie composed the song “My Baby” which features on Brenda Fassie’s album titled Imali. He has also worked with popular dancer and musician from Zimbabwe Beverly Sibanda.
Musically, Freddie gains inspiration from groups such as The Soul Brothers and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. He has created his own ‘Zumba genre’, soul music fused with disco. He calls it jail music. Inspiration for his lyrics comes from his time spent in jail. “I’m singing for the inmates and the youth out there,” says Freddie. Through his music he hopes to motivate them to stay free from crime and learn from his mistake.
Also read: What Happened to Thebe The Legend
Freddie Gwala spent eight years in jail for car theft before turning his misfortune into a financial fortune by singing about his experiences in jail.
Albums I could find
- Amadamara Vol1 & 2
- Amadamara 4
- Amadamara No. 5 Ngiboshiwe
- Amadamara EP
- The Best of Freddie Gwala
- The Best of
- Golden Hit Collection
- Ngizotola Amadamara 10
- Angiyi eRoundini (2017)
He is currently still active in the music industry and has tours all over the globe. There have been reports that suggests that he would like to collaborate with Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi in the future. So I guess only time will tell if that collaboration does flourish.