Band Members: Trenton - Vocals/ songwriting (South Africa), Thabo MObo Bass (South Africa), Marco MSG - Guitar (Ibiza), Andre Swartz - Drums (South Africa)
Genre: Reggae, Hip Hop, Electro hybrid
Label: Afrolution / Black Mango Music
Bookings: freeradical (@) blackmangomusic.com
Trenton and Free Radical: Real Music Makes a Comeback
With his feet firmly planted in African soil, Trenton Birch has a global musical sensibility. Having done his time in London developing the distinct sound and conscious lyrics of his reggae-infused Afro-beat band, Trenton and Free Radical, his return to Cape Town is a major score for the South African live music scene.
Birch believes there’s a revolution afoot. A tidal wave of changing attitudes; around the way people think about their world, their responsibility towards each other, the planet, and the type of music that’s being churned out.
Trenton and Free Radical, a musical partnership between Birch and writing collaborator Marco MSG, is evidence of this revolution. Their sound—seductive, acoustic, urban—elegantly marries catchy tunes with meaningful lyrics. Their songs have the energy and impact of anthems; their words pack meaning and their rhythms are ones you can’t help bopping to.
Free Radical delivers honest beats—although there are diverse influences, including hip-hop and electro, the result is sufficiently distinctive and edgy to evoke a sense of being unique, avoiding tired genre labels. Theirs is a contemporary African sound with universal appeal, and the muscle to unite divergent tastes. It’s revolutionary music geared to ignite dance-floors while exploding our thinking.
Birch says he’s disgusted by apathy. Pay attention, and you find yourself intellectually engaged; they’re stoking awareness, activating listeners. They not radical in a purely political sense, but Birch is a poet with something to say, and he’s not afraid to speak his mind. The band sings about war, about social injustice, about love; and they sing the praises of heroes like Mandela, offering thoughts on making the world a better place.
As Birch celebrates a return to South Africa, Trenton and Free Radical is finding its feet in Cape Town, playing up a storm on the live venue circuit in preparation for the release of a debut album with sizeable credentials. Produced by Dean James (Nitin Sawhney, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly) and Craigie Dodds (Sugarbabes, Natty, One Eskimo, Gorillaz), the album—“Giant Step”—is mixed by Gripper (Faithless, Dido, Hempolics).