Album Review: Mi Casa’s ‘We Made It’
Mi Casa is one of South Africa’s most exciting and consistent success stories. With a sonic uniqueness that has not only stood the test of time, but shaped South African dance floors for the past decade, the band has gone from strength to strength with their Afro-Pop/House grooves and shown the world that nothing can keep positivity and a good formula down.
Now, 10 years, countless awards and five albums later, the group has signed an international record deal with Afroforce1 Records and Universal Music Group, making them a priority act for their region. Their brand-new album “We Made It” is a testament to a decade of raw pushing that saw this self-made success story emerge once again on top.
April 2020 saw a strong kick out the gate with their first single, “Church Bells”. Released alongside a powerful video of a space-inspired traditional African wedding, the single topped SA’s most played charts and firmly reminded audiences Mi Casa are leaders in their arena.
They have returned to South African airwaves with more determination, growth and relevance than ever before – and fired up about dropping their 5th album at home, in the African continent and in Europe this July. Aptly titled, “We Made It” makes J’Something beam with happiness and speak about it as if it is his newborn child. “We are completely re-energized with this record. It feels like we have emerged on another planet compared to where we were before we started the recording process”, he states.
The band, with close musical companions such as producers Jay Em, spent three months writing from a house in Mpumalanga with no distractions, pushing through a tough time when the band was probably at its weakest in terms of spirit. Amidst the rumors of break-up and song-writing apathy, they emerged with an offering that leans more towards a “band act” than the “club act”. Lyrically, J’ Something takes the helm as always. With love still remaining a strong lyrical undercurrent, there is no doubt that this time the sex appeal is definitely riding high too.
The album is probably one of the smoothest Mi Casa offerings to date. Tracks such as “Mamela” speak to the tender side of all of us as J aches for some quiet time with his partner. Vocally, it gives a definite nod to 90’s R&B, whilst smatterings of musical beach vibes bring the listener closer to that holiday. “Obsessed” takes it right to the top with fire lyrics cradled in a sensual Latin-House beat. “How Could You” is a gut-punch that speaks almost tangibly to anyone who has ever been played in a relationship, while party tracks like “Chucks” and “Love Everything about You” remind fans why this band is still on top of their game.
A stand-out track is without a doubt, “Eve” – a deeper, socio-political look at the dark place we find ourselves in as mankind. With a definite African angle to the lyrics, the sadness of the track is visceral and although perhaps not destined for dancefloor dominance without a remix, the sheer vocal mastery by J’Something, Mo’s melancholy pull of the trumpet and the slowed-down beat takes the listener on a journey of awareness. In short, it is pure fire! Another stand-out track is “Home Alone”, featuring AKA. The song speaks to long distance relationships, longing, isolation and all the hard times people experience when being alone, much like what so many people have been experiencing worldwide right now with the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a complete record one could be forgiven for feeling like they are witnessing the blossoming evolution of their favorite OG’s. Emerging the other side as a more mature, slick and sensual force of nature. Mi Casa has literally, never sounded so good. Get the album on all digital platforms.