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Mozambican Pop Group Makes It Big in South Africa


340ML members describe themselves as four boys from Maputo, Mozambique -- Pedro, Paulo, Rui and Tiago. While studying in Johannesburg they decided to start a band.

They had no idea what style they would choose and so decided to try everything - from rock and jazz to funk and soul. Their debut album, entitled Moving in 2000, won critical acclaim and got a lot of radio airplay.

Being young in Mozambique played a big role in forming their sound according to Pedro the lead vocalist.

"We grew up in the 80s and 90s in Mozambique, where we were completely shut off from the world. Our country was in civil war and Maputo was kind of isolated, and so any sort of music that you could get your hands on – you would really absorb – be it rock, reggae, samba, bossa nova – anything.

"I think due to that, we were exposed to a variety of sounds and we sort of fed off that. And 340ML is sort of a by-product of all of those sounds – it’s sort of like what we spit out after having absorbed all this music in our childhood," Pedro explains.

Lounge music, eclectic and carefree

The group says it does not take itself too seriously – its lyrics tell small stories about things affecting them at the time of recording.

"I think 340ML has always had this lyric theme where we feed off what we are feeling at the time," says Pedro. "It’s very autobiographical. It’s little anecdotes from within the band and what we see; what we experience. It’s not at all serious – even though it might seem so in some songs. It’s very carefree."

Their latest album, 'Sorry For the Delay', landed them six nominations for South African Music Awards -- Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Duo or Group, Best Alternative Album, Best Producer and Best Engineer. They took the Best Engineer and Best Alternative Album awards.

According to Rui the bass player for the group, 'Sorry for the Delay' their second album was highly anticipated. He says music-wise it's a more mature epic album and the industry recognized it.

Besides promoting their latest album, 340ML is also working on a number of projects and competitions in which they assist up-and-coming music producers. In 2010 the group plans to release Sorry for The Remix – which will be a remix of the Sorry for the Delay album.

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