Date:11 June 2021 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
The topic of conversation in social circles around Vhembe almost always, at some point, reverts to local reggae musician Ras Canly.
This gifted artist scored a milestone in his music career when his album The Journey was nominated for the South African Music Awards (SAMA27) in the Best Reggae Album category. He stands against other reggae artists such as Bongo Riot, Freeky, Reign Africa and Lavoro Duro.
The musical journey of Ras Canly, who was born Funanani Canly Phalanndwa in Tshiombo village, started in 2002 when he performed at church services. “This was where I learned how to play music instruments like the piano and guitar,” he said. “At that time, I had not yet discovered the music genre that I am currently in; I still was not sure if the gospel genre was for me, although I grew up in a Christian family.”
During that time, he started listening to reggae music and the artists that piqued his interest were the likes of Colbert Mukwevho, Kenny Murabi and other internationally acclaimed artists.
“The very first track I composed was called Ndoto vhuya, which was a reggae-gospel track,” he said. “It was during this time that my older brother, Lawrence Musetha, introduced me to dancehall, and I fell in love with it and have never looked back since.”
He met Mashudu Ramuntshi along this road, and together they started singing and playing guitars on the streets of Tshiombo Tswinga. People, and especially youngsters, used to follow them around, singing along to their songs.
“However, during that time it was hard to find a studio to record our music,” he said. “The very first studio we approached didn’t take us seriously, and this encounter made us doubt ourselves and our talents. But it also encouraged us to learn the ins and outs of music recording.”
Ras Canly’s passion for music production never died, though. Matilda Netshithuthuni unexpectedly came to their rescue by funding the duo’s very first studio time. “It was then that my friend Mashudu encouraged me to go solo,” he said. “The studio owner, Takalani Mudau, went on to become a close working friend to this day.”
His first album, titled Mbilu Yanga, was recorded at his studio, known as TopShatters Studio. The album won the Song of the Year award at the Tshivenda Music Awards (TSHIMA) in 2017.
“It was the very first time for a reggae track to hold this title,” he said. “This album was well received, and it helped shape my fan base. My second album, My Pride, won the award for Best Male Artist at the TSHIMAs in 2018 and the third album, titled The Journey, won the Best Male Artist and Best Artist of the Year awards in 2020.” Ras Canly is very excited about The Journey’s recent nomination by SAMA27.
“More music is on the way as we go international, so watch the space,” he said.
Ras Canly’s music is available on most digital online stores. Follow him on Facebook (Ras Canly), Instagram (@ras_canly) and Twitter (@RasCanly), or get in contact with him on firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel 082 355 1445.
Ras Canly is known and appreciated for his outstanding reggae music. Picture supplied: KD Pictures.
By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.