Ringo was born with rhythm in his heart and a Ringo concert is not just a performance. It is an intensely Spiritual, Rhythmic and Healing journey that takes you with him to the heights of Oneness with all that is in the Universe. At the end of this awesome experience, you cannot help but be captivated by the sound that has touched the kings, mesmerised queens, intrigued presidents and inspired the most humble peoples of all nations.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
There are many ways in which people describe Ringo Madlingozi, THE PHENOMENON. Many of these descriptions are based on their individual experiences of how Ringo’s music has affected them. He was originally named Sindile by his parents, but his mother later gave him the nickname Ringo, because of the talents (drumming & singing), which he started displaying as early as the age of 3. Giving him this name was by no means a coincidence, as his destiny and life’s vision would later reveal. If one breaks the name down into its elements to describe Ringo, one would realise how fitting this name is for him.
Rhythm: Ringo was born with rhythm in his heart and he is in tune with and controls the rhythm of the stars in the Universe. A Ringo concert is not just a performance. It is an intensely Spiritual, Rhythmic and Healing journey that takes you with him to the heights of Oneness with all that is in the Universe. He takes you with him on the unique journey of your own soul and through this experience, the music heals you and assists your soul with some of the lessons that it was meant to take from this planet. At the end of this awesome experience, you cannot help but be captivated by the sound that has touched the kings, mesmerised queens, intrigued presidents and inspired the most humble peoples of all nations.
Inspiring: His music and the messages in it are inspiring to the mind and soul of those who have embraced it and allowed it to touch them. The messages that he carries in his music are obviously not of him, but come through him. In his music are messages of love of one person for another, of love between nations and all members of the human race. He speaks of forgiveness and unity amongst humanity. In many ways he has expressed his views on political and social challenges and injustices that have wreaked havoc in the mother continent and elsewhere in the world.
Nurturing: Ringo’s nature as a nurturer is something that does not only begin and end with his family; it is something that is part of his true nature. He has nurtured a number of young talented artists, encouraging them in their pursuit for greatness and providing them with opportunities to realise their dreams. He has written music and produced albums for a number of budding artists and assisted those who had no means to record demo CDs of their music, poetry or stories. This is a side of him that very few people are aware of. Ringo would rather spend time teaching young people in homes for orphaned children and act as their mentor than go to a fancy social A-list gathering. Sometimes some of these children stop seeing him as their idol, as he starts getting involved in their lives and demonstrates genuine interest in their education and welfare. They end up seeing him as a parent of some sort and a lot of times Ringo battles to detach himself from these young people once they capture his heart.
Great: Ringo believes that greatness is something that all human beings are born with. As a
deeply spiritual person, he has embraced his own greatness and has allowed it to humble him. Despite the pressures of living in a society that has its own definition of greatness, he has never allowed himself to get caught up in it. He has responded to his true calling and vision; that of ‘Using the wisdom, love and power of the universe to create music that will heal’. In his own quest of being true to his authentic self, he has made music lovers to experience his life purpose, that of Comfort through his music. Part of Ringo’s mission is to leave as a legacy of a rich cultural and musical heritage for generations that will live on this planet, long after his era.
Original: Originality is the only way one can describe him, as he has not allowed any external influences to define his sound and creativity. This gifted son of the soil has often created music in the same way that a channel would transmit messages from Spirit. His music often comes to him in dreams. Often when he awakes, he still remembers the melody and this either forms the foundation for the future song or will become the song. Sometimes rhythms will come to him and when he gets in the studio to record the song he is so overcome by the song that he does not even remember singing the song during the recording. These moments are deeply emotional, physically and mentally draining for him. Songs such as Kuzolunga, Nkqo-Nkqo, Vuka Sula and others are examples of songs that result from such an experience. They are usually very inspirational and touch a lot of hearts.
To millions of his followers in South Africa, the African continent and the rest of the world, he is simply known as Ringo and to them there is only one Ringo; the one who set the country ablaze when he won the Shell Road to Fame contest with his friends and fellow band members, Peto back in 1986; the constant crowd-puller at musical events around the country, who remains a firm favourite across the country and the rest of the African continent and the world. He later formed a group called Gecko Moon with Alan Cameron, a fellow Peto member. Their popular hit wasGreen-Green, which was a crossover track and was well received by music lovers.
Since his debut solo album, Vukani, which sold tens of thousands of copies, he has been
unstoppable and moving up the music ladder. He has subsequently been nominated for and
scooped multiple awards for his albums, the South African Music Awards (SAMA) and the Kora All African Music Awards, where, among others, he won theBest Male Artist in Southern Africa and the African continent Awards.
In the late 1990s he collaborated with internationally acclaimed group UB40 as part of the United Nations global AIDS awareness program, recording the Xhosa lyrics of “Cover Up”. Brian Travers, UB40’s saxophonist, describes Ringo’s music as “fantastic”; this after listening to Ringo’s previous release, “Buyisa”.
In May 2003, a Ringo Live, best hits concert was recorded at the State Theatre in Pretoria, South Africa and released in both DVD and CD format in August of the same year. The Ringo Live CD reached multi-platinum status in sales, with the DVD reaching multi-platinum status. The DVD was recently in the top five SA national charts and top ten international charts due to its excellent production quality. In 2004 Ringo released an album titled “Baleka” which has thus far reached multi-platinum status and continues to sell. In that album, he worked with Dillon O’Bryan, the composer of the song ‘Soul to Soul’ by The Temptations and Bob Thiele Jnr. His “Love Songs” album, a compilation released on 14 February 2006 reached gold status within the first month of its release.
Having established himself as a popular brand after 10 studio albums, 2 live CD/DVDs and one compilation album, Ringo is destined for greater things, as he works his way up the music ladder on his latest studio album. He remade the album recorded in his first solo venture as Gecko Moon and released it to a huge and warm reception. It reconnected him with his Gecko Moon and Peto fans and as a crossover album it won him new fans in Reggae, Rhythm & Blues and Pop music genres. As a producer, he has produced the world renowned Miriam ‘Mama Africa’ Makeba and Durban Gospel greats Avante. Mama Africa’s CD was nominated and received a number of local and international awards. He continues to compose and produce the music in all his albums.
Due to popular demand of the Ringo Live DVD and CD, Ringo has recorded a sequel, which is the Ringo Live2 recording in DVD and CD format in September 2006. In it he features Maskandi heavyweight, Mama Busi Mhlongo and Popstar, Thembisile Ntaka; rap’s gentle giant, Hip-Hop Pantsula and Xhosa Spiritual Traditional artist, Ncumisa Bhonga. In 2006 Ndim Lo received multiple nominations at 2007’s prestigious MTN SAMA Awards and the Ringo Live2 DVD also received a nomination. In 2008 he released a studio album Qhubeka, which received multiple nominations at the MTN SAMA awards. His latest offering Jayva Sbali recorded in 2010 has been making some waves throughout the country and was also nominated for the Best Contemporary albumat the 2010 Metro awards.
There are few South African artists as in tune with the “rhythm of their soul” as Sindile Ringo
Madlingozi. From his debut solo release, Vukani, in 1996 to his latest offering, Qhubeka, Ringo – as this artist is affectionately known – has carved out a niche for himself as an artist, who is able to craft songs that are rooted in an authentic African voice, yet appeal to a wide mass of people.
It wasn’t always like this for this Gugulethu, Cape Town-born singer, producer and songwriter. It was a chance encounter with the renowned producer and head of Island Records, Chris Blackwell that changed the course of Ringo’s creative life. “Blackwell chided me for not sticking to what I know best – my people, my language and my culture,” Ringo says. “It was as if a bright light had been turned on in my mind and this led directly to the recording of my debut album, Vukani.” The album marked a new direction for Ringo. Literally meaning “Wake Up” the album firmly rooted Ringo in the African pop genre, giving expression to the “ukuxhentsa” rhythms that had inspired the singer in his youth when he used to listen to “amagqirha” or traditional healers in his neighbourhood and appreciate their rhythms. The addition of a contemporary sound whilst still being grounded in the tradition of the Xhosa guitar, cemented what has now become known as the “Ringo” sound. “It took 12 years to release an album that expresses the real me,” Ringo says. The sound has found its expression in several other releases, each one building on the success of the last. Among these are Sondelani (1997), Mamelani (1998) and Into Yam’ (1999), Buyisa (2000), Ntumba (2002), Baleka (2004), Ndim Lo (2006), Qhubeka (2008) and the latest release Jayva Sbali (2010). Ringo’s albums have earned Ringo several awards including Best Male Vocalist in 1998 and 1999 at the South African Music Awards as well as Best Male Artist (Southern Africa) and Best Male Artist (South Africa) and Best Male Vocalist (AfricanContinent) at
the 1998 and 1999 Kora awards respectively. His energetic live shows have earned Ringo much acclaim and – as this latest celebratory album Jayva Sbali shows, Ringo is still riding the high crest of his musical genius, experimenting with various rhythms and collaborations.
In the live platforms Ringo has wowed audiences worldwide, from the European audiences who either attended or watched on their national television channels the North Sea Jazz Festival (Den Hague, Netherlands), UK sold out concerts and Festival de Jazz De Vitoria Gastteiz Airtel (Spain) by storm, and he has won the hearts of many music fans. He continues to spread his wings around the globe such as his 2004 stint in the United States thatincluded the New Orleans Jazz Festival. He has performed in many other European countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Spain and Germany. He has conquered almost all the parts of our continent and aspires to initiate collaborations that are meant to unite Africans in song.
Ringo’s Mission & Vision
Ringo’s mission in life is, through his music, to preach about love, awake the spirit of togetherness and fill the hearts of those who are destitute with hope and belief of a better tomorrow. He also wishes to see a united society, striving for the betterment of all mankind without regard to one’s race, religion, language, sexual orientation or creed.
Ringo’s success in life is not material but his quest to touch many a heart and spread the
message of love. For Ringo every single day he strives to stay true to his life purpose, which is COMFORT. Through his music and social responsibilities, he manages to achieve this to a large degree. His life vision is ‘Using the wisdom of the universe to create music that will heal’.
For the past few years, Ringo has been working with, or assisting in the following centres:
Takalani Home for the Disabled in Soweto, Sinethemba Home in Benoni, Van Rijn Place of Safety in Benoni, Siyazigabisa Home of Hope in Thembisa and in Port Elizabeth, Enkuselweni Place of Safety. In Enkuselweni, Ringo works with the youth to motivate them and give financial assistance in the form of donations and benefit concerts. At Van Rijn he has been doing the same and assisting them with music training and together with Sindi Dlathu of Muvhango fame, they also coached the kids in Dance. He has assisted a few times with collecting clothes for and giving Christmas gifts to the children there. In Takalani home he has given some entertainment for the residents in the form of free unplugged sessions and also gives food and financial donations whenever necessary.
At Sinethemba, he plays more of a guardianship role to the kids, as it is a fairly small home, with fewer kids. He guides and motivates the kids and accompanies them to their school functions, such as Matric Dances. He assists with buying clothes and gifts for the children and assists wherever and whenever it is necessary. In Durban, together with Nkosi Ngubane, they started the ‘Adopt a Child Project’, where a person supports an orphaned child. All this, he does because there is great need for a lot of children to be guided, assisted and comforted, because of the challenges they face in our country today. He expects no rewards from the work he does, but seeing a smile light up a child’s face is all the reward he needs.
In the recent past he has been given ambassadorship for HIV/ AIDS and Anti-Women and Child Abuse Campaign by the Gauteng Department of Social Welfare. He has also worked with Khuluma Ndoda, an anti-women abuse movement started by actor, Patrick Shai.