Johannesburg, South Africa
Motèl Mari are João Orecchia, Mpumelelo Mcata and Tshepang Ramoba. Shortly after landing in Johannesburg in 2004, Orecchia, a Brooklyn born and schooled wanderer, who wound up in Berlin as a teenager messing with experimental punk before moving years later to South Africa, heard some talk about a psychedelic afro-rock outfit called BLK JKS. They became fast friends and have been working together on projects ever since. Mpumi and Tshepang (guitar and drums respectively) contributed to João's 2009 album, Hands & Feet, and would often join him on stage, adding thunderous beats and general bigness to the otherwise textural and floating soundscapes. Slowly they started becoming a band.
João Orecchia is a self taught non-musician who has been making music for many years. His fascination is in squeezing sounds out of anything and layering them on top of other sounds squeezed out of other things - from guitars to manipulated circuits and banjos to field recordings.
Mpumelelo Mcata is a self taught, self-made “engine of ingenuity”. Growing up in Johannesburg he dreamed of the life he now has, having super powers, the ability to create, manipulate and move anti-matter using abstract energy like sound waves... and playing rock guitar, firmly planted among the roots of African music.
Tshepang Ramoba is a pure and simple rock star. He was once convinced to wear an article of red clothing over his all black armour. He is also notoriously famous amongst his loving bandmates for being in three places at once… on the drum kit at least - Africa time! He was once voted the best musician at SXSW by Billboard Magazine.