In 2003 Freshlyground launched their debut album, Jika Jika, under their own Freeground Records label, the immediate success of which firmly cemented the band as one of South Africa’s most successful young acts.
Freshlyground released their second studio album, Nomvula in July 2004. Nomvula was recorded and produced by JB Arthur and Sibusiso Victor Masondo. The album sparked interest from Sony BMG Africa, who signed the band and released Nomvula in September that year. Radio quickly picked up on the single “Doo Be Doo” and the catchy song went on to become a crossover favorite amongst a diverse spread of stations and their listeners. “Doo Be Doo” was the most played song in South Africa in 2005. The major success of “Doo Be Doo” was followed by the singles “I’d Like,” “Zithande,” “Things Have Changed,” and the title track of the album, “Nomvula.”
The album sold 300,000 units in South Africa alone, earning it multi-platinum status. The success and broad appeal of the band was celebrated in November 2006 when Freshlyground won the MTV Europe Award in the category Best African Act. The award placed the band firmly on the international music map and earned them further recognition on home soil as significant South African cultural exports.
The success of Nomvula was followed by Ma Cheri – Freshlyground’s third studio album, released in September 2007. The album’s release was followed by a major South African tour attended by over 25, 000 people across four cities. The tour was produced by Freshlyground and supported by Volkswagen South Africa. The tour successfully raised the performance and production standards of local touring, putting the band on par with international acts in terms of production scale and value. Ma Cheri went multi-platinum in South Africa and the single “Pot Belly” became another major crossover success.
In 2009 Freshlyground did four sold-out tours in Europe. They also toured for the first time in China, the United States of America and Canada, making the band one of a handful of South African acts to have a successful and sustainable career both internationally and at home.
Now, with their fourth studio album, Radio Africa, Freshlyground is preparing to broadcast their unique sound, a sound that has turned the seven-piece into one of South Africa’s most treasured acts, to the rest of the continent and the world. The album achieved GOLD status within two months of its release. The first single “Fire is Low” has been in the South African Top 50 National Chart for the past 10 weeks and counting.
A major highlight for 2010 was Freshlyground’s collaboration with Colombian superstar Shakira on the Official Song for the FIFA Soccer World Cup 2010.
Entitled “Waka Waka -- This Time for Africa,” the song is featured on Listen Up:The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Album. The song has sold well over a million singles has reached number #1 in 19 countries worldwide.
Their performance with Shakira at the World Cup Kick-off Concert and the Closing ceremony -- before the Spain-Netherlands Final game -- which was broadcast live to over a billion people combined with unprecedented radio play and media coverage has introduced Freshlyground and their music to a host of new fans across the globe.