About Colbert Mukwevho
The Thrilling Artists recorded two commercial albums with Gallo, the first one in 1979 called "Mukhada O Ntshuma" and their follow-up "Hani-Hani" in 1982. Colbert, aka Harley, was playing the bass guitar and background vocals in these albums. The young Harley had an opportunity to record at least one composition on each of these albums.
Towards the end of 1983, Colbert, broke away from their family band The Thrilling Artists to form The Comforters, and recorded Gaku La Vhuswa Zwalo (meaning "Better a dry crust of bread"). The album was fully in Tshivenda, with raw and very loose reggae rhythms, with the late Christopher, (Leader and lead vocalist of The Thrilling Artists and Abel’s younger brother) on keyboards, and overdubs done by Colbert himself. Abel, Colbert’s father on the lead guitar, Freddy Baloyi, Colbert’s uncle on drums, Colbert on the bass and lead vocals. In 1984, the group recorded their follow-up called Ni Khou Livha Luwani, (which means "heading for the precipice"), and received much airplay.
In 1984, The Comforters clinched a deal with Hit City Records in downtown Johannesburg and recorded Month end Lover which was released in 1987. In 1987 his wife, Julia Sididzha, joined the group as backing vocalist. Month end Lover was the last project Colbert did as the Comforters. In 1988, Percy (Colbert and Julia’s first-born) was born. In 1989, he was billed at the same music festival with Sello Chicco Twala in Thohoyandou. Chicco invited Colbert to come over to Johannesburg and do business together.
Colbert arrived in Johannesburg in November during the final recording and production of the late Brenda Fassie’s Black President album. Chicco as producer of the album, proposed for a duet of the two artists. They did Colbert’s own composition, Heroes’ Party which also appeared on the Black President album. In December 1989, Colbert adopted the name Harley, for Harley and the Rasta Family, under the administration of Chicco Productions, and it was the birth of Lion in the Sheepskin in 1990.
In 1992, Harley retreated home, and together with members of his new backing group, and his younger brother, Simmy on keyboards, he recorded I Do Nela Rothe, (which means "rain fall for all") in 1993 Colbert recorded Hoyo Wanu O Naka (meaning "your maiden is the one that is beautiful") right at home, in 888 Block F, Thohoyandou, right where The Burning Shak is today.
In 1994 he recorded Tshigotshanama (meaning "leg work boy") in the Downtown Studios in downtown Johannesburg with the late Dukes Mhlongo on lead guitar and keyboards, and Jerry on drums, Simmy and Clement on keyboards, with Mulalo as bassist, and Samuel as percussionist.
They worked with a Rasta youth from Pretoria called Jerry as their drummer during the recording and shows promoting the album. Harley and the Rasta Family signed directly with CCP Records in 1995, and recorded the self-entitled Harley and the Rasta Family album, which was mixed and co-produced by Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare in Kingston, Jamaica.
The video of the track, The Lord Is My Rock won the album best reggae album in the 1997 SAMA Music Awards.
Phanda (meaning " Forward") was somewhat more roots than the rest, with radical Venda lyrics, and a few love songs, recorded with the famous Prof. Khumalo in 1998, who was lecturing music at the University of Venda, and Colbert as a solo artist, produced by his younger brothers Mulalo, Simmy, Clement and Sammy.
In 1999 while working with CCP Records as Harley and the Rasta Family he recorded Why? Colbert again retreated home and recorded as Colbert Mukwevho Muthu Ndi Nne (meaning "I’m a good man") in 2000, which was released under Ngoma Dza Tshitomboni Records, a self-registered company. The same year, CCP asked Harley to help produce fellow reggae musician Senzo’s album, worshipping Your Love.
In 2001 Harley and the Rasta Family recorded with CCP Records Doomsday, with Bruce Williams as producer, but the album was not released by the company. In 2003 Colbert recorded as a soloist with the aid of TVEP (Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Program) Mulovha, Namusi na Matshelo (meaning "yesterday, today and tomorrow") with the TVEP Song opening the album.
In 2005, Tshigotshanama was remixed and re-recorded, with additional tracks like the Shangaan love song Na Ku Rhandza meaning "I love you") and a new track, Ni Mu Fhe (A Fure) (meaning "look after her"). In December 2007, Colbert released a single called Mmbwa I Do La Mmbwa (meaning "dog will eat dog"), with 4 tracks. The tunes on this album are; One Harmony (A Tribute), Every Dog Will Have His Day, Ndi A Zwi Funa (U Ni Funa), and the title track, Mmbwa I Do La Mmbwa which means: "Dog will eat Dog". Finally, the long-awaited full version of the album "Mmbwa I Do La Mmbwa" hits the markets in December 2008, only 6 days before Christmas. The album opens up with a prayer hymn, "Mbilu Yanga Vuwa", where the Marley version of "So Long Rastafari Call Ya" is incorporated, and automatically blends nice with the Venda version.
In 2011 Colbert, was signed by Rudebwoy Entertainment who immediately began to rebrand the Mukwevho brand.
As part of the rebranding strategy the stage name was changed to Colbert "Harley" Mukwevho and the family band. During this time a new tour brand was conceptualised and began their first show in 2012 in Bassline, Newtown in Johannesburg to celebrate Colbert’s 47th Birthday and to record a Live DVD and CD "Lion & Son O’ Lion Live in Johannesburg" The "Lion & Son O’ Lion Live in Johannesburg" DVD and CD was released in October 2013.
Colbert has released a total of 15 Albums and is currently working on his 16th Studio Album