Michael T. Mokgatitswane, a self-taught bassist who started learning how to play musical instruments in church from a very tender age, released an album called ‘Conversations’ on November 7, 2020.
‘Conversations’ is a nine-piece smooth jazz, gospel and lead bass music album.
The album is a fusion of ethnic and contemporary musical varieties and sounds that have collectively developed a multi-genre music compilation. Mokgatitswane told Arts & Culture that Conversations is a collection of profound and intimate conversations that he has had and still has with God, himself and different people.
“These are the conversations I had at a deeper level of understanding and self-expression in relation to life, purpose and self-discovery presented and shared in a musical medium. The album presents a very fresh sound intermixing a little gospel, a smooth jazz, and a lot of world, ethnic and traditional influences giving this project a unique sound that followers of such a blend have to really appreciate,” he added. Mokgatitswane said that while this album offers a good deal of smooth and rhythmic jazzy vibes, the inspiration behind the writing and composition of the songs was rather quite spiritual.
He said songs such as ‘Confessions’, ‘Conversations’ and ‘Wena Fela’ that were based on spiritual encounters that he experienced could attest to this.
“I strongly believe music is spiritual and it heals, soothes the heart and mind so it must be felt more than anything. The album also presents songs such as ‘Tributes’ that was me paying respect
Three of the tracks on the album feature Rrabotsepame the poet, an indigenous poet who featured on ‘Venerations to the Groom’ and is the composer of the poem in the song, ‘Poetess Nomi’, who is also an amazing writer and poet featuring on the title track ‘Conversations’, and lastly an exceptional saxophonist called Mopati Molosiwa who is the composer and producer of the track ‘Dreamer’. Molosiwa also played the sax on most of the songs in the album.
“I have also had the honour of working with established musicians, the likes of Leroy Nyoni, a phenomenal drummer and producer, Thabo Chikova who is a brilliant pianist and music director and Tashinga Shepherd who is also an excellent pianist and producer.
I had the honour of working with Neo Beverly Batsovile, Charmain Mokgatitswane, and One Sejakgomo. Thapelo E. Mokgatitswane of 7fm did the videography of the album, and Maleho ‘Lex’ Makgothi from Pumi Soundz was in charge of the recording, mixing and mastering for the entire project,” he said.
The album is currently available on CD at a cost and will soon be available on digital media platforms.