Originally from South Africa and now based in the United Kingdom, the popular band Stone Jets is a musical partnership between bassist and vocalist Given Nkanyane and guitarist Manfred Klose. Known for their original sound and compositions, Stone Jets creates original toe-tapping music, wrapped in soul with a scattering of traditional elements.
Stone Jets combines the talents of Given’s distinct voice and in equal measures Manfred’s guitar prowess. It’s the fusion of the two, together with their simple yet substantial melodic song writing style and strong live performances, makes them popular musicians and crowd-pleasers from the tip of Africa to Europe and beyond.
Trained Software Engineer, Given and musician, Manfred compose all their material with Manfred playing the guitar he built.
“Songs always begin with a feeling and as these ideas about people, life and everything in between evolve so do our perspectives, understanding, and feelings which we reflect in our music.” – Given.
Formed in 2013, songs from the first two EPs of the then trio (at the time with drummer Eduan Joubert) were featured on South African national television stations and playlisted on commercial, campus, community radio stations across the country.
Stone Jets released their first EP, River, in 2014. The band’s second release, What I Say (released in 2016), was preceded with a lyric video for the first single off the EP Hurricane, which critics described as a “lively, foot-tapping summer single.” In 2018 Stone Jets released their album Memory, Stone Jets has played all of South Africa’s major festivals including OppiKoppi and Splashy Fen as well as a host of venues such as Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront which showcased their unique sound and led to a growing home fan base and return gigs.
Stone Jets have supported Stelth Ulvang (of The Lumineers) during his SA tour in 2016 and James Morrison on his debut tour of South Africa in 2019. A major career highlight is the One Side Acoustic gig that Stone Jets played sharing the stage with the late great South African jazz trumpet legend, Bra Hugh Masekela and Majozi.
In 2018 Stone Jets toured nationally and then internationally for the first time to the United Kingdom and Ireland. Having been well received by British audiences, Given and Manfred decided to relocate to London a year later where they have been crafting their distinct Stone Jets sound and continuously gaining fans following performances across Europe including England, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Ireland and concerts in the Czech Republic.
After a production hiatus of three years, Stone Jets broke their silence in April 2021 when they released their single, “I Will Rise Again”. Ironically, although written before the start of the pandemic, the lyrics are befitting of the difficult times when the virus kept its devastating grip on the world.
“We recorded I Will Rise Again during the pandemic and while the bears testament to the unprecedented challenging times we live in, we believe that together we will rise again and overcome.” – Manfred.
I Will Rise Again is hailed by NYC Atwood Magazine as “Stone Jets have woven a sweet song of perseverance and staying power – of fortitude and inner strength – right when we needed it most.” while UK online channel Back Seat Mafia says: “This is definitely one you’ll have to listen to over and over”. Following on from that, Stone Jets released Black Window in May, followed by The Middle in June 2021.
Even though touring dates and opportunities had been hampered by lockdown measures and resulting restrictions, Stone Jets have used this time to work on new material, to record and perform at various venues in London, Telford, Bristol, Camden, Shrewsbury and the Heritage Day Festival in Hambleden.
Concert bookings coupled with the release of three new singles, had made 2021 a rewarding year for Stone Jets, particularly as they are relatively new to the European market.
Now added to their discography in early December 2022 is a body of work that encapsulates a live experience of this music making duo in action. Together with a drummer (Adrien Latgé) and recent contributing bassist (John Schaffer). Live In West Hampstead is a celebration of life before and after the pandemic and the navigation of a new normal.
Like their name states, Stone Jets is busy lifting off their music career and flying like jets while remaining as grounded as a stone; focussing on constant growth and learning to ultimately become valued global citizens through their music.