Shen Winberg spent his early childhood in the extremes of Southern Africa’s rural landscapes, absorbing indigenous sounds in the rhythms of the Limpopo Province’s Shangaan villages. Today, Shen has a distinctive ethnic blend to his music.
Growing up during the turbulence of Apartheid in the 1980s, both his parents embedded in the ANC’s underground movement, having his mother taken into solitary confinement and hiding from safe house to safe house with father, Shen’s original compositions showcases this dynamic and dramatic South African narrative. Many of his lyrics are infused with passionate invocations for peace and justice. The magical soundscapes he creates takes you to a place beyond your usual reality.
After a degree in Jazz music from the University of Cape Town, with a love for Afrohouse and pop music, his band, ShenFM, is a fusion of contemporary and traditional sounds, creating a global, commercial, yet ‘world music’ feel to his compositions.
“I love you. You know who you are. You know you are a great singer.” – Mnati, SA Pop Idols Judge, 2012
ShenFM places his band’s music on a beach at sunset. It’s an eclectic mix of beats, uptempo, yet still peaceful, dance-able, but not overpowering.
“You guys are real tight man, super slick!” – Robert Trujillo, bass player for Metallica, 2013
Shen has played in America, France, Ireland, Dubai, Sweden, Angola, Malawi, Senegal, Argentina, Brazil and of course, South Africa. Performances with Jeff Bridges in Cape Town, Vusi Mahlasela in Sweden for Her Majesty Queen Silvia, played and opened for Lionel Richie in Dubai, GoldFish, Lock ‘n Ville, Freshly Ground, among many others.
“What a great band.” – American actor Jeff Bridges, 2012
Shen is the S.A. Cultural Ambassador for the World’s Children’s Prize Foundation for the Rights of the Child, patronised by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden. In this capacity he auditions and directs a youth band with vulnerable children annually, followed by a tour to Scandinavia.