Aura

b. Aura Lewis, Johannesburg, South Africa. Lewis has worked with a variety of musicians in her varied career, including making extraordinary recordings with her fellow expatriates and exponents of township…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography

b. Aura Lewis, Johannesburg, South Africa. Lewis has worked with a variety of musicians in her varied career, including making extraordinary recordings with her fellow expatriates and exponents of township jive, the Malopoets. In 1976 she went to Jamaica where she formed an allegiance with Rockers star Kiddus I, who performed as a soloist and occasionally alongside the Ras Michael And The Sons Of Negus. His connections led to an introduction to Jimmy Cliff, who invited Aura to perform backing vocals on his forthcoming tour, which was filmed and subsequently released on video as Bongo Man. While working with Cliff she met Lee Perry, who brought her into the recording studio where she was initially employed as a backing vocalist. Her ambitions to record as a soloist were fulfilled when she recorded ‘Midnight’, ‘Full Experience’ and a version of Nina Simone’s ‘To Be Young, Gifted And Black’. Aura left Jamaica and embarked on a career with the Malopoets and a South African jazz group featuring Louis Moholo. In the late 80s rumours about experimental recording sessions with Lee Perry and two West African vocalists were curtailed when the master tapes of Aura’s work emerged. The Upsetter recordings survived the events relating to the destruction of the Black Ark studio in Washington Gardens, and were licensed to Blue Moon.