Eric Ramco Records is one of the pioneer recording companies that have produced the countrys biggest stars, especially in the traditional music genre. Yesteryear stars like Jonny Kobedi and Kgobola are a case in point.
Remember the excitement the track Sesotho Ke Sechaina by Third Mind created, Machesa with Sango and Vee’s Taku Taku and most recently Matsieng’s hit number, Tinto as well as well as Kganka’s Ke Thutswe Ke Koloi Ya Di Gas.
Stable boss, Eric Ramogobya, has also built a reputation as perhaps the best marketer of entertainment materials. Before the release of Kganka’s debut, people in major urban centres around the country were left wondering by those black and white posters simply reading, Ke Thutswe Ke Koloi.
But of late very little has been heard of Ramco Records other than the reported exodus of artists from the stable. The departure of money-spinners like Matsieng seems to have seriously affected business at the giant stable. There have been allegations of Ramogobya cheating his musicians, which have been fuelled by the chief executive’s failure to react to such accusations.
“It is like in a family set up, when one child leaves the home and starts saying he was abused and stuff like that, it is not necessary for the parents to counter such claims.
I have deliberately decided not to react to such claims, especially after such artists have left because it makes no difference. But what is interesting is that such musicians would leave when they are big stars here, but once on their own you wonder they cannot even reach the level they were at before they left the company,” he said.
While some have already completed writing the record company’s obituary, Ramogobya has said Ramco Record is only a sleeping giant and not a dead giant. “Ramco Records would only die if I resigned or I am died. But as long as I am still here it will not die.
We have not been very active in the market, but we have our reasons and when we start again people will understand why we have been quiet,” Ramogobya said.
The lanky producer has noted that his company would not be producing any music until next year February.
“The records that we did in recent years coincided with a difficult period when music generally was not selling and it makes sense that we hold all the projects that we have finished until next year when I believe the situation should be a lot better,” he said.
Ramco Records has been predominantly a traditional music stable though it has tried successfully other genres such as Kwaito-kwasa, Afro Pop, Hip-hop as well as Disco and as the ‘sleeping giant’ plans to wake up early next year, Ramogobya said that traditional music would still be a dominant feature at the stable.
Although he refused to divulge any names, the Ramco Records boss told Showbiz that he would be launching new musicians who would be making their debuts. “According to perceptions traditional music is dying or even dead, but I will prove many people wrong with my new artists.
They are coming up with fresh ideas, which will make this genre interesting to the listeners once again. Just watch this space,” he confidently said.