© Natasha Laurent (2017)

Kinsmen was founded by Dhruv Sodha, Shailesh Pillay and Muhammad Dawjee, all originally from Laudium – an Indian Apartheid Group Area on the Western outskirts of Pretoria, South Africa.

Their work explores the intersection of culture, tradition and modernity through composition and improvised music.

Kinsmen released their debut album, Window to the Ashram on June 16, 2017 - a collection of narratives, poetically woven together with the creative use of space afforded by a trio.

“These themes run parallel to our lived experience as (4th Generation) South Africans of Indian descent in a country that is intensely undergoing the realisation and unpacking of internalised forms of racism and segregation. Our music expresses a desire for a meaningful creative dialogue with this continent that is mostly inexistent in our community.”

The language of Kinsmen draws on a myriad of influences including: Indian Classical, Mainstream Jazz, Avant- garde, World fusion and South African Jazz. The instrumentation is an innovative leap away from traditional forms of ‘Indian’ music currently promoted and exhibited in South Africa. It is an experimental rebellion against that culture through a sonic re-appropriation and reinterpretation of the music of a traditionalist culture and school.

Their work inspires possibilities for extensions and re-readings of the role and relevance of culture, its limitations and the meaning of cultural artefacts for people of Indian descent living within the country today.

︎ Instagram: @kinsmen.music
︎ Facebook: kinsmen.sa
︎ Youtube: kinsmen 
︎ Music In Africa: kinsmen
︎ Window to the Ashram: streaming links