Tebogo Mathiba - The talented afro jazz/pop & soul singer

With Botswana Music Industry growing, it comes with a lot changes, artists that have been in the game for quite some time reinvent themselves, some are however left behind and lost within the mix, artists come and go and a whole lot of confusion goes down. Different genres get introduced, from house kwasa, disco kwasa and so forth. One genre that has been dominant with elderly audience and of recently the youth have been warming up to it is the Afro Jazz and Soul.
The Sopranist Blog got a chance to chat with an Afro Pop/Jazz/Soul artist Tebogo Mathiba about him and his music. Pop

For those who don’t know you, tell them who you are.
I am Tebogo Mathiba, I was born on the 13th September 1980 in a nuclear family with 1 sister and 2 brothers. I am from Kanye a town on the Southern part of Gaborone.  I am a dream chaser, a workaholic, a God fearing guy who loves music. I was born and raised in a Christian household.

Straight to your music, when did you realise that music was your calling?
Early in my Sunday school days. I was raised by a God fearing mother who insisted that church was the only way to get a brother grounded! That is where I fell in love with music. It was around the age of 12 and 13 that I started writing my own songs and I knew since then that this is where I belong.

Explain your music sound to us.
My music is a fusion of afro pop and afro soul. I however don’t limit myself to those genres alone, I do stretch from time to time.

Do you write your own songs? Where do you draw inspiration from?
 90% of my songs are written and arranged by me alone, I also co-produce and co-write songs. I have produced music for JD SWAGGER( ATI, Bakgatla, EPIC & Resto) I have produced Jazz/ Neo Soul music for Kayzee, Gospel for PJ and many more
I actually get inspiration from everything, my surroundings and environment. My new single was inspired by a street kid at the bus Station.

How many albums have you released to-date and which is your latest one? Take us through it.
I have only released one album called MOTHEO which was released in the summer of 2012. This album touches on issues about family, forgiveness, love, messages of encouragement from parents to young ones just to mention a few.
The lead single from MOTHEO, THARI YA SECHABA is still getting well deserved airplay.
The album features Lizibo & Tshepo Lesole in a song called Itshwarelaneng, Punah Gabasiane in Tswaneng, Nomadic in mono wa koto, HT in Dijo tsa bosigo
Motheo was nominated 4 times in the 2013 Botswana Music Union (BOMU) awards (Best Male, Album of The Year, Best Jazz Album and Best Video for my song Thari Ya Sechaba)! I am currently working on my 2nd offering called MARANG, release dates have not been confirmed YET.

How has the reception been from Batswana concerning your music?
It has been overwhelming although I still believe that personally I could have pushed it more! People loved and still in love Thari Ya Sechaba!

How do you promote your music?
I use social media, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are powerful tools in this day and age. I also use print and electronic media, I perform at music shows. I actually grab and use any opportunity I get to put my music out there.

What is your proudest moment in your career to date?
Being nominated 4 times on my very first Album, MOTHEO, at the 2013 Botswana Music Union (BOMU) Awards
o   Best male artist
o   Best album of the year
o   Best afro jazz album
o   Best music video (THARI YA SECHABA)

Who are your musical influences?
Joe, R.Kelly, Afro’traction and Brian Temba

How important is image in the music industry and how do you maintain your image?
Image is very important, it speaks volume on where you want to go as an artist! I try by all means to be comfortable and yet presentable all the times.

What are typical mistakes people make when trying to pursue this career?
I think the common mistake made by many is trying to be somebody else! One got to be as original as possible.

What is your take on the music industry?
Believe me, the music industry here is growing fast! So much quality put into it these days in all genres!

Any new music coming our way anytime soon?
Yes! I am working on a new single called: ARE AGENG CHABA it is due to be released on the 31st of April 2015. And again like I said, I’m working on my Album, release dates have not been confirmed, I will keep you posted.

Whom in Botswana or even across borders would you love to collaborate with and why?
From South Africa I would love to collaborate with Simphiwe Dana and Floetry from the U.S. I really Love their unique sounds I could learn a lot from them.

If I were to turn on your music player right now what recent songs would I see on your recently played list?
The Secret Garden – Brian Culbertson, Angeke- Afro’traction, Don’t Let Go- R.Kelly, A Re Ageng Chaba- which is my DEMO of course.

How do you balance work and family?
Family means a lot to me, it is my support system so I try to give my family every little time I get when I am not at work or musically committed.

What keeps you going?
My Dreams, I believe so much in them that I wake up every day to push harder. There is a fire burning within me!

Where do you want to be 5 to 10 years from now?
I would at least in 10 years love to see myself in the fusion of the Southern part of Africa’s music industry, sharing stages with the icons of Afro and Jazz soul. It is going to take lots and lots of hard work but I will try with all my might to get there. It is never easy but hard work does pay.

If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
Nothing! I believe I am God’s work in progress!

Your last words to our readers.
I love you guys. You make us grow and even work harder, that like on Facebook, a retweet on Twitter, a picture shared on Instagram keeps us going. Keep supporting us LOCAL MUSIC!

Contact Tebogo at:
Email: tebogo.mathiba@gmail.com

Twitter: Tebogo Mathiba

Facebook: Tebogo Mathiba

Instagram: Tebogo Mathiba

Signing Out
By: Mr Orsen & Lot Lorah
Twitter: @Mr_Orsen 
Instagram : Mr_Orsen and lotlorah

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