Music News South Africa

#MusicExchange: Mango Groove

KDay, hosted by Kfm 94.5, returns to Meerendal Wine Estate on 7 March 2020 with a load of artists including Rowlene, Emo Adams Tarryn Lamb, Jimmy Nevis, Craig Lucas, The Kiffness, Timo ODV, Shekhinah, Youngsta CPT, Mi Casa, GoodLuck and headliner Mango Groove. I caught up with the iconic Claire Johnston from Mango Groove, last week...

BizcommunityThe new decade means:
Hope? Possibility? Trepidation? Terror?
#MusicExchange: Mango Groove

Fame is about:

Hopefully just having a platform to communicate to others what you love and what is important to you and, hopefully, to move them in some way.

Retirement will happen when:

When I die.  I do what I love, so retirement doesn’t apply.

I don't do:

Topiary and personalised number plates.

What does music mean to you?

Memories, moments, a soundtrack to your life? It’s got to be about what moves you.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

I love creating and performing, but it is very moving to me when someone tells me a particular song moved them or created a lasting memory.

Any funny moments on stage?

We’re a chaotic and spontaneous 11-piece on stage, so many funny and humiliating moments, and doubtless more to come.

What is your most treasured possession?

Well, they are not possessions, they are wonderful beings who I am lucky enough to have gracing my life: my beloved fur-friends Sammy and Cloudy. We belong to each other.

It’s your round, what are you drinking?

Hmm…A good glass of SA Chardonnay?


Sadly not, or possibly too rude to mention?

If you were not a musician, what would you do?

I have always loved performing, so maybe acting, art or possibly to working with animals.

Pick five words to describe yourself?

Difficult to speak for myself without sounding vain or p

Bizcommunityretentious, so I asked John (founding member of Mango, ex-husband, best friend) to do a list. I take no responsibility for this: Anxious, self-deprecating (is that one or two words?), funny, kind, lateral.

Five favourite SA albums of all time?

A tough one: The first éVoid album, Hugh Masekela & The Union of South Africa, Lucky Dube’s Slave, Brenda Fassie’s Memeza(or others) and any of the early Miriam Makeba/Skylarks/Spokes Mashiyane collaborations.

#MusicExchange: Mango Groove

What song changed your life?

Too many to call. Ella Fitzgerald and Karen Carpenter made we want to become a singer, Debbie Harry made me want to be in a pop group.

What is your favourite word?


Favourite fashion garment:

Nothing glamorous, probably something comfortable and 'schlumpfy'. If it had to be something more fashionable, probably one of my leopard-skin-pattern coats.

Top of your bucket list:

Career-wise, there are some very big Mango movie and stage projects that we hope to see realised soon. More personally, there are a few trips I have to make, all of them on this continent: a road trip around SA, seeing the gorillas in Rwanda, the Okavango Swamps in full flood.

Your greatest achievement:

We are all flawed and fumbling but, hopefully, I am learning to accept the parts of me that I love and to see the best in others.

What do you complain about most often?

Hmm…Load-shedding? Bad drivers? Myself? Don’t we all.

On stage, I tend to:

I tend to feed very much off the audience: always a lot of nervous energy, not wanting to bore anyone and, in the midst of it, loving the thrill of performing and interacting with the band and the audience.

Do you do charity work and, if you do, what do you do?

Yes: Assorted initiatives, but more primarily animal welfare and conservation initiatives.

Wishes and dreams:

To be happy, kind and loved, and to feel secure enough to explore all my dreams.

Social Media

Instagram | Facebook

About Martin Myers

Co-owner at Triple M Entertainment, founder Music Exchange, manager Sipho Hotstix Mabuse
Let's do Biz