Unravelling the Arrangements of Don Laka: The Music Behind the Icon

Don Laka, our very own African music maestro, has just come out swinging on the brink of a milestone. His legacy of 50 years of producing some of South Africa’s greatest music has brought him acute accolades. 

But why exactly is Laka such a musical legend? It takes an immensely talented and resourceful craftsman to concoct a mix of Kwaito and Kwaai Jazz and to pioneer these unique and innovative sounds in South Africa. It takes a great deal of skill, passion and dedication to collaborate with over 80 artists of all genres and styles in the South African music industry. And it takes a master to be nominated for a Grammy award. Don Laka’s career started in 1976 with The Flood and their hit single “Let Me Into Your Life”, which sold a whopping 320,000 units. In the eighties, Don joined Sakhile and, having become Grade 8 on the classical guitar and an accredited music teacher, he auditioned for the Pretoria Conservatoire. 

Despite being prevented from enrolling due to prevalent laws, he still managed to produce a phenomenal variety of music. In 1990, Don wrote and arranged for Sibongile Khum and performed his songs at the National Symphony Orchestra of South Africa. In 1991, he collaborated with the stunning Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Rebecca Malope to produce even higher caliber music. 

Destined for big things, Don created a British-rock influenced band “Ymage” and added a staggering 12 albums to his discography. To top it all off, he also produced and performed with the music aristocrat Masakela in their albums “Black to the Future” and “Sixty”. His continual success in the music industry earned them a Grammy nomination in 2013. Throughout his career, Don has never failed to impress. His award winning albums have more than 200,000 copies and achieved multiple platinum awards. Don is a true revolutionary of the music industry and professional of music. Look out for tour dates that will be announced shortly.

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