WONDERboom competed against 14 other countries at the ‘Silk Road Indie Music Festival’ in Chengdu, China and won top award. The international music competition, which took place this past weekend from 1 – 3 December, is an initiative to introduce global music to Chinese audiences, alongside top Chinese performers. Gold went to South Africa’s WONDERboom and Silver and Bronze awards were won by countries Georgia and Lithuania respectively.
The event was attended by key international media, including Billboard Magazine who covered the festival and performances were recorded for broadcast on Chinese TV. This is the first time WONDERboom has gone to China and the band couldn’t have asked for a better debut. Already in discussion is the prospect of returning to the country with dates in other major Chinese cities.
Frontman Cito is ecstatic over the win! “We are over the moon with elation and cannot believe our fortune. China and its people have completely blown our minds. We look forward to returning and rocking their beautiful crowds.”
WONDERboom from left to right are: Martin Schofield; Cito; Jonathan Bell; Wade Williams (Picture Credit – Adrian Skirrow)
How did this all come about for WONDERboom? The Maritime Silk Road Music Festival and The Maritime Silk Road Music Industry Platform are developing music trade ties between China and international countries in music production, artist talent development, music education, technology innovation, concert performances and music content sales. Well-known International music consultant and label owner, Adrian Skirrow, is the South African representative and is very happy with the result!
“Only three hours before the finals, WONDERboom and other competitors were announced as one of the six acts competing for top honors during the Sunday night finals. What made the win even more special, was the band’s unenviable task of competing for the big prize last and after some very strong performances beforehand. From the minute WONDERboom hit the stage and struck their first chord, it was clear they meant business with their trademark high energy show and pop flavoured Afro punk attitude, which the audience and judges undoubtedly loved. WONDERboom’s achievement is being received with fantastic response and enthusiasm here in China and discussions are underway to get them back for a Chinese tour in 2018. I personally cannot wait to see one of the very best live bands around spread their unique sound and live performance prowess to new fans here!” comments Skirrow.
The Festival and Platform are under the official authority of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative and has officially begun operations. It was established at a conference and pre-launch festival in Ningbo, China in November 2016, and more recently an international music industry forum during April 2017. The Festival and Platform are now rapidly expanding throughout China.
In November 2016, artists from eight countries were invited to perform at the Ningbo Maritime Silk Road International Music Festival. The music festival successfully introduced and marketed international artists to Chinese audiences and promoted Chinese pop artists to world markets. For 2017, 14 international performing artists, along with Chinese pop artists competed for most popular international act honour, across three days of music and celebrations.
Catch WONDERboom live on the Rising Sun album tour
9 December – Jock, Nelspruit
22 December – Cheers Pub, Kimberley
23 December – C Beach, East London (with Prime Circle)
24 December – Knysna Yacht Club, Knysna
25 December – Music Kitchen, Port Elizabeth (unplugged)
26 December – Vinyl On Main, Knysna
27 December – Venue TBC
28 December – Brass Bell, Cape Town
29 December – Quay Four, Cape Town
30 December – Berties Mooring, Gordon’s Bay
31 December – Rumours Rock City, Johannesburg
ABOUT RISING SUN
Rising Sun is a triumphant release from WONDERboom and is packed with 11 powerful songs. Album opener Humans launches the album with that distorted guitar-riff driven, kick drum stomping, dirty Rock & Roll sounding, fist-pumping anthem WONDERboom delivers so well. Southern Light is the current single from Rising Sun receiving love across SA radio, and with previous singles Great Escape and Ooh La La already fan favourites, these three singles are just a taste of what Rising Sun holds. The rest of the album is just pure magic listening to singles such as Hell, Praying Mantis, In Place Of Something, and Shark Bite.
WONDERboom are so excited for fans to hear this album! “For the first time EVER, we took our time and were extremely meticulous with the whole production process. Sometimes we’d re-record, other times we’d just scrap, but every song on Rising Sun is meant to be there and pretty much the cream of the crop. First album with Jono on drums. I think fans will get a sense of ‘Damn, you worked hard on this record!’ The attention to detail, the energy, the musicality, the soul… It’s all in there. We had a motto for the album and that was ‘GO THERE!’ No half-arsed attempts at any song. It’s heavy, it’s beautiful, it’s epic,” comments Cito.
WONDERboom have cemented their legendary status. Twenty-one years in the industry, 8 albums released, headlined many major SA festivals, been nominated for 5 SAMA’s (South African Music Awards), and won a Kanna Award & People Crystal Award in 2003 for South Africa’s hottest band. They also won the South African leg of the 2004 Global Battle of the Bands & came SECOND WORLDWIDE! There can be few South African music fans that aren’t familiar with their hits, like Never Ever, Jafta Rebel, Something Wrong, Green Fever, Africa, Shadows, Charlie, It’s Great to be Alive, Best Side, On The Radio, and Karaoke Bar.
Rising Sun adds to this impressive list as we salute SA’s favourite Rock band, WONDERboom.
If you think you know WONDERboom and you have your favourite song from watching one of SA’s most iconic Rock bands grow from strength to strength over the past 21 years, but you haven’t heard Rising Sun, you’re in for an amazing surprise. Your favourite song is on this album.
Track listing for Rising Sun
- Southern Light
- Northern Light
- Great Escape (music video)
- In Place of Something
- Rising Sun
- Ooh La La (music video)
- Praying Mantis
- Digital Dan (Instrumental)
- Shark Bite
Buy Rising Sun
WONDERboom’s brand new album ‘Rising Sun’ is available across all digital platforms
Rising Sun is out now on CD and Digital release.