The Struggle Continues
When Jamie Catto (Faithless, 1 Giant Leap) met Aluta Lichaba in South Africa to write and record her duet with Michael Stipe for the new 1 Giant Leap song ‘I Have Seen Trouble’, he made a mental promise to get back there as soon as possible and make a whole album with her.
Months later, in a small studio in Johannesburg, Aluta and Jamie got talking about the kind of album they’d make and two themes came up again and again; first, ‘the struggle’, Aluta literally means ‘the struggle’ and her parents had had to escape South Africa during Apartheid because of their anti- Apartheid activism. Aluta escaped in the boot of a car, and then grew up partly in a refugee camp in Tanzania. The notions of ‘struggle’ for her, her family and her beloved country were going to be a cornerstone of the Aluta and The Mystics recordings.
The other theme was reggae music. The lyrics and heritage of reggae is perhaps more atuned to the present day climate of South Africa than anywhere in the world, the rallying calls of emancipation and One Love. Catto invited reggae Producer Nick Raphael to begin creating tracks for the album.