Andy Grammer’s collaboration with the iconic Ladysmith Black Mambazo melts hearts
American singer and songwriter Andy Grammer wrote his song She’d Say based on a number of special connections, including one with South Africa.
Andy’s mother’s passing away in 2009 was what he describes as the biggest wound of his life. But as an artist, he found that the experience grounded him to be able to sing songs such as his previous release, Don’t Give Up On Me, which aim to uplift and breathe the light back into as many people as he can.
She’d Say is no different.
“My mom was a huge fan of Paul Simon and the Graceland record,” Andy explained. “I’m in the car a day after I wrote the song and I hear on the radio Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who are from South Africa, but they happen to be playing in Los Angeles the next day. So I told them the story and they all came in. We had a photo of my mother in the studio and they wrote all their words in Zulu. It happened so fast and the whole thing just came together.”
The Zulu lyrics sung by Ladysmith Black Mambazo (LBM) for the song translate to: I miss my mom and that’s what she’d say. These words in the warm, velvety voices of one of South Africa’s greatest exports adds a layer to the song that tugs at the heartstrings. With a reverie-like vocal riff in the intro, the song blends perfectly with the rhythm of the song and LBM’s signature isicathamiya style.
The music video enhances the song further as it showcases both the studio-recording experience as well as the touching scenes of Andy taking his 2-year-old daughter to visit his mother’s grave. And with over 3.5 million views on YouTube, Andy proves that in his genre of positive and moving music, he shines again and again.
So as Andy continues to make his way into South African hearts from his quadruple-platinum Honey, I’m Good to songs like this from his new album Naive, it’s safe to say that his is a voice that resonates well in a country like ours.
In Andy’s words, “There are a lot of people like me – people that I wrote these songs for – they are the light-bringers of society.”
She’d Say is available on all major digital music platforms.