It should be obvious by now, over a decade after its inception, that the unassuming musicians behind the band Pravda (‘The Truth’) are simply in it for the music. The shapeshifting ensemble has in the past released music ranging from electroswing, blues and bossa nova, to acoustic rock and electronica. Now, sacrificing the comfort and popularity of backing tracks and cover songs, the band continues to lead their audience back to basics with a whole new repertoire of spacious, down-to-earth and lyrical songs written to be heard and loved by seated audiences. The band currently performs as a trio at the intersection of acoustic rock, pop-influenced jazz and slide guitar blues.

 

Thoughtful songwriter and reluctant frontman Johnny B sings and plays electric guitar, violin and “whatever else it takes to do the job”. With unflinching honesty, Johnny’s songs touch on themes of love (“Aeroplane”, “Love Is Calling”, “Lifetime In A Day With You”), travel (Let’s Travel The World, Girl”) and identity (“Feather”, “Routine”, “Number 9 Will Surprise You”). Drummer Django Flaherty (Drums, Octapad drum module) has performed and held residencies at Rezonance Festival, Mutha FM, Catacombs and Polana. His original productions have been playlisted national radio station 5FM. Electric double bassist Callan Wolff (double bass, keyboard) performs with Turkish music ensemble Ottoman Slap, seasoned regulars at the annual Standard Bank National Arts Festival.

 

In 2017, the band's original single 'Night and Day (ft Tamara Kesner)' was licensed to French label Wagram Music on compilation album 'Electro Swing New Generation 01' by DJ duo Bart & Baker. In 2018, the single was playlisted by Brighton-based label Freshly Squeezed Music. PRAVDA supported visiting Paris-based swing ensemble Dark Blue Orchestra on their 2015 South African tour.

 

In an age where musical popularity seems to be linked to technological access, it’s refreshing to encounter music for its own sake, on its own terms and intent on continual improvement despite the temptation to conform to commonplace demand. Aside from providing their artistically inclined audience with a good time, Pravda aims to shine a light onto the significance of everyday experiences with poignancy, passion and a uniquely South African perspective. Reliably unsatisfied with providing “mere entertainment”, the band’s outlook involves dutifully communicating what it means to be self-motivated musicians with integrity, enthusiasm and a welcome sense of humour.

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