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Sereetsi dedicates upcoming album to late father

MOMPATI TLHANKANE
Tomeletso Sereetsi PIC. THALEFANG CHARLES
Folk jazz band Sereetsi & The Natives front man Tomeletso Sereetsi says their upcoming sophomore scheduled to come in April would be dedicated to his late father.

The album titled 'Motoko' which is set for release soon will honour the man who honed Sereetsi to a fine point through sounds and words during his youth.

“Motoko is my late father’s first name. The album is a dedication to the man who raised me. He never heard me play a note except years later when my debut CD came out. I am thankful that he did not discourage me from becoming a musician. Although he was obsessed with the need for his children to do well academically and escape poverty, he was open to the possibility of one making a decent living through the arts in the future,” Sereetsi said.

The man who started music at Somerset in Francistown many years ago as a young boy said at a time when parents openly discouraged their children to stay away from the devil’s vocation that was being a musician, his father never made him feel that a guitar was not welcome in his house.

“He is my earliest recollection of singing as a child. He would sit there on a bench and sing from a hymnbook alone in a high tenor. He would sing gently without disturbing the peace around,” the celebrated artist reminisced.

Sereetsi said his father was the closest thing to a musician from the family that came before him. “I hear he was a good singer when he was a younger. He was however not involved in music professionally other than in church. I am usually asked if I come from a musical family,” Sereetsi added.

He pointed out that there is no single song

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that is about his father, but rather he is honouring both his memory and his role as a father.

“I was so shy to play for the family. They only saw me go in and out of the yard with the guitar, but never heard or saw me play. I regret that he never got to see me performing live in real time. Not on television.”

He said he is not a big fan of having an album title song because his titles usually sum up the vibe and ideas underpinning the album in question. “Four String Confessions was the name of the album and there was no song in the album with the name.”

Sereetsi & The Natives, who created a buzz with their debut album Four String Confessions, has worked with Swedish drummer, producer and engineer Mikael Rosen once again. “I am done recording now. The work is in mixing and mastering phase,” he said. 

Sereetsi’s album songs was written and arranged on the four-string guitar and he has composed all of the music and the lyrics except for one folk song.

The man who made an impression with the first album that included songs like Robete and Thaa kokome is expected to beat his previous offering and continue a sound that blends traditional Botswana rhythms with Western influences.

Some of sneak peaks of his title songs include Pompetla, Maobenka, Sebodu and Botengteng. Sereetsi said releasing an album during a tenure of a new President feels great because its like he would providing a new soundtrack for a new phase in the life of Batswana.



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