Contemporary folk band, Sereetsi & The Natives' frontman, returned last night from a four-day tour of Sweden, where he was backed by a number of A-list session musicians.
The artist, with his Swedish backing band, performed in Stockholm before taking on three gigs in the culturally vibrant Gothenburg.
The tour was sponsored in part by the Botswana Embassy in Stockholm. “I was booked to do the Botswana Day celebrations as a solo act. I, however, thought that the show could use a full band and contacted a musician friend of mine, David Back. He assembled a great team of professional musicians to join me on stage,” Sereetsi told Arts & Culture.
The musicians included Back himself on keys and backing vocals and ace guitarist Mats Erikssons, Celso Paco from Mozambique on drums and Brazilian bass maestro, Rubem Farias. “It was a great experience. Enriching for me as an artist creatively and from a business point as well. I got to play with some A-list talent while widening my pool of good contacts in Sweden, Mozambique and Brazil. That’s what we die for – contacts,” he added.
Sereetsi also performed with young soul star, Oscar Soul Experience.
“I met him at the Okavango Delta Music Festival where we were both booked to play. We jammed together during his set and recorded a song together. It was awesome to re-unite with him in his native Sweden,” Sereetsi said.
Sereetsi played at Gothenburg where he also featured in the Afrika Festival, the second festival he has played in the European city. Sereetsi was quick to reveal that Sweden has shown him a lot of love. He added that it was nice to play the Afrika Festival after he played the Planetta World Music Festival in Gothenburg in 2016.
“I also played there with great Swedish talent, guitarist Tobias Grim and keyboardist David Back – both feature in my latest album, Motoko. On bass, I had the legendary Stefan Bergman who has toured with the likes of Vusi Mahlasela here closer to home and drummer Johan Jonsson,” he added.
Sereetsi said he saw Sweden as a gateway to greater Europe.
“Sweden has afforded me the opportunity to test my product with European audiences. I am now more confident in my content than ever before. Working with artists from different cultures is a great lesson in many of the disciplines that are required to play and compete on the international stage,” he further said.
Sereetsi said he would like to thank the Botswana Embassy in Stockholm for the opportunity and Back for booking a tour for him at such short notice.
I had a great time on and off stage and made great friends. I think that’s what life is all about: experiences,” he said. Sereetsi will slide out of the airport into the rehearsal room for his live DVD recording concert at Maitisong billed for tomorrow. “Man must work. We are really ready for Saturday. We are just doing dress rehearsals to ensure that every little detail is taken care of,” he said.
The event, which promises to be one of the most memorable in this year’s live music calendar, will see Sereetsi leading natives through the act’s highly acclaimed discography that has become the soundtrack to the lives of many a discerning music lover.
The highly talented Mafitlhakgosi Dance Group will accompany Sereetsi & The Natives. The Old Naledi-based dance troupe will complement the native rhythms and sounds of Sereetsi & The Natives with choreography inspired by the various traditional dances of Botswana ranging from Kalanga’s ndazula,to Setswana’s dikhwaere, tsutsube to setapa.
Another special feature of the concert is that the audience will be able to enjoy proudly Botswana traditional food and drink.