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Watch: John Wizards – Lusaka by Night (Live) [Best Fit Premiere]

30 July 2013, 16:01 | Written by Lauren Down

With their self-titled debut album due out via Planet Mu in September, South African pop outfit John Wizards – a duo focused around musician John Withers and vocalist Emmanuel Nzaramba, with instrumental assistance from Geoff Brink, Tom Parker, Alex Montgomery and Raphael Segerman – revealed the official video for their forthcoming single ‘Lusaka by Night’ last week over on Spin. Today, we have a slightly more DIY effort to share with you, in the form of some footage recorded in their living room.

-Talking to John Withers about the track, their “pretty all-inclusive music” and why they made two videos, he explained “There are two versions as it’s a story that can be told in two parts. It was written shortly after a trip to Tanzania, and owes something to the music that I’d heard on bus and taxi rides there. When I’d returned to South Africa, Emmanuel – John Wizards singer – was missing and so I settled on writing lyrics and singing on the song.”

“I believe it’s the first time that I’d ever tackled writing lyrics. There’s a recorded version with me singing on it, but I was never happy with how it sounded. I had recorded some of Emmanuel’s songs beforehand, and was one day playing around with a pretty heavily processed vocal of his on the Lusaka track. I was convinced that it was better than my version, and a few weeks later when by chance Emmanuel and I finally found each other again, I played it for him, got his blessing, and finished the track off.”

“The version I sing on is a song written for Joanna (my girlfriend) about our time in Tanzania: It’s about a bus ride, a club called ‘Lusaka by Night’, and the respite that being with her, in that place, at that time in my life gave me. Emmanuel’s lyrics are in Kinyarwanda, the language of his country Rwanda about the Children of Africa, ‘Wana wa Afrika’ coming together.”

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