The Rudimentals started in 2001, with roots in ska and reggae music blended with African elements – a brass-driven live show, founding front man Teboho “T-Boss” Maidza bringing an undeniably Southern African flavor to the mix.
Fast-forward thirteen years and the vocal section have expanded to include 3 MC’s – two international male fashion models/actors and a Zimbabwean-born “toasting” MC. There’s still a keyboard player, but now there’s also an electronic and beats synth-player, a drummer who was first blooded in the heavy rock-metal scene, a rotating roster of up-’n-coming backing vocalist – and it’s all still powered by a rude-boy brass and rhythm section.
– The Rudimentals, 2014
“We said, let’s just play music, never mind what it’s called…” – Ross
The new Rudimentals band consists of musicians with various and diverse backgrounds: MC “Khaos”, from Jamaica, and MC/Rapper Abdi Whosane Pangaea, from Brooklyn, New York, are the two models (you’ve seen them in Puma, Hyundai, Hugo Boss and Armani print and TV adverts).
King Labash is a Zimbabwean-born dancehall and reggae toaster, Trumpeter Jody Engelbrecht is a music teacher; bassist Errol “Bong” Strachan played with Cape Town reggae bands like Sons of Selassie, and Blunt and Trombonist, Ross McDonald, runs Hey Papa Legend studios, and Rising records, and also plays for Hog Hoggidy Hog. Simon Bates, the Sax player, is also a music teacher. The band’s lead guitarist, “Doc” Mike Levy, is, in fact, a medical doctor. Founding lead vocalist T-Boss Maidza, is an environmental consultant. Antonio Cencherle and Nikolai Athiros complete the rhythm section on keys and electronic synths.
The new-look Rudimentals return in 2014 with “Blaze Up The Fire”, an EP dedicated to the late Clyde Finlayson, long-standing friend and manager of The Rudimentals, co-founder of the Synergy, Vortex and Resonance music festivals, and also of Concerts for a Cause.
It was Finlayson who secured sets for The Rudimentals alongside The Wailers and UB40, as well as Lucky Dube, Johnny Clegg and Mango Groove. In that list, too, is a set on the same bill as The Prodigy in 2012.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today, as a band and releasing this new material, if it wasn’t for Clyde”
– The Rudimentals: R.I.P. Clyde Finlayson