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Talented singer Saltie spreads her wings

Keletso Thobega

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Saltie might be new on the block but humble beauty with a golden voice is fast making waves in the music industry. This coming weekend she will share the stage with South African gospel giant Dr Tumi at Bojanala Waterfront, at a not-to be-missed concert.

Born Tshegofatso Agatha Seabe, she is a singer, songwriter and all-round creative. She started off singing in church and later joined We Must Praise gospel choir before deciding to become a solo artist.

Saltie has a powerful voice that would give anyone goosebumps – she sings from the heart and her lyrics are powerful; you have to hear her to appreciate her musical gift. It is this amazing voice that is fast catapulating her to stardom, and she said that she is both excited and nervous to share the stage with Dr Tumi.

In a recent interview with Vibe, she explained that venturing out as a solo artist was initially nerve wrecking as she was unsure of herself. “I doubted myself and my music. I was also not clued up on how the music industry works and was forced to learn as much as I could. I did not give up in pursuing my God dreams.” She further said that she is motivated by her love for God, everyday life and the desire for people to know that a life with God is all about a relationship than it is about rules and fear. “I would describe my music as life experiences through the lense of faith,” she said.

Saltie has two new singles out, Freedom and Omatla. She explained the meaning behind both songs. “Freedom is a poem I wrote about the need to be free from the hurts of life; pain, depression and darkness. Omatla talks about how powerful and mighty God is, so we must have faith in Him regardless of whatever challenges we might face,” she said. She noted that her favourite line from the latter song goes ‘Ke lebile tatlhego mme nkga phenyo’ (I am faced with misery but I smell victory).

Saltie would like to work with local gospel artists Tshepo Lesole and Mathews Matsetse, and internationally with Dr Tumi, Jonathan McReynolds, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Travis Greene, Ntokozo Mbatha and Mahalia among others.

She shared that the highlight of her career so far has been meeting and sharing the stage with Joyous Celebration music director Mnqobi Nxumalo, and veteran Joyous Celebration choir member Andiswa Mbatha.

Although she is pleased with the growth of the local music industry, Saltie is adamant that more could still be done. “Sponsorship should be taken seriously because music is expensive to produce. Money should be injected into music projects if local artists are to stage quality shows. Artists should be funded and more people should buy tickets to shows,” she said.

Saltie noted that young people intent on joining the music industry must put in the work and be open to learning because consistent hard work pays off. “Get informed, ask questions and never be afraid to pursue what you love, and continue dreaming while doing it. Also keep in mind that we are all unique and that there is enough for everyone to shine.”  *For updates on and to listen to her music like Facebook page Saltie BW.

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KUX DROPS LEFATSHE LENO

Keletso Thobega

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Hip-hop artist Kux has dropped a single dubbed Lefatshe leno, out of his latest EP titled That’s Me. The song is currently on high rotation on local radio stations and notable music platforms. In an interview with Vibe this week, Kuk said that he was pleased with the positive feedback to the song.

Born Kutlwano Kabelo Mokgatla in Selebi-Phikwe, 31-year-old Moshupa native, is also a composer and writer. He started his solo career in 1999. His first solo track, I Kicks It, was recorded by Young Sluggz and produced by Motswako Makaveli. He was still schooling in Johannesburg, South Africa then, and it was during this time that he got to interact with the likes of Zeus, KB and Samba T who he says are still some of his inspirations in the local music industry.

He recorded his second song Huskey with Loso and Lunatic in 2010. Lif Aman, produced by Skywalker Productions, recorded the song at Bazamele Records. In 2012 he put together a mix tape and worked with QBio and Uzzi among others. Last year he linked with GreedySkillz, which resulted in the introduction of long-time producer Lil Boi and signed onto his label Fiendz Music Records. “That is when we decided to fuse and create a dynamic apply named Motswako Palamente,” he recalls. Their track Shots played on Yarona FM for the first time in 2013. In 2014 he worked on a new EP titled L.I.F.E.S.T.Y.L.E ya mrepa.

The first single, Campus, featuring Saxxx, was released online and was downloaded more than a thousand times, and also featured on Yarona FM Hip hop show Headspace. In 2015 he recorded his second single Cough It Up featuring Jinx and Swazi Block. In 2016 he linked with Lanie and recorded and released a cover song titled R.I.C.O. originally done by Drake and Meek Mill, which raised heads for both of them. He later dropped his second mixtape, Phapha, which dropped later that same year. To wrap things up, he dropped BluChampagne. In 2017 he featured on Free, another single off Jinx mixtape. In 2018 he shot the video for BluChampagne and recorded a follow-up single titled CBD later the same year.

He says that he is working on more music individually and also wants to collaborate with local artists such as Apollo and Loosecat among others. He said he chose artists who he admires and has a strong following as this would also give him the vantage to extend into their markets. Kux also said that he is working towards a full studio album. He said he has international appeal and wants to create a brand that will be competitive globally.

“I dream of more than local awards…I aspire to clinch MTV and Grammy awards.” Earlier this year Kux was signed to Exclusive Media, which handles publishing, recording, vocal mixing mastering, recording, brand development, show outsourcing and general management. His management team explained that they are working hard to create a brand out of Kux and subsequently attract endorsements for him.

They said they had collaborated with several youth owned companies to help them build capacity and create seamless solid brands. “Through Exclusive Media, we have also created platforms for young artists, particularly those who are upcoming, to not only show them the ropes but also help them elevate their careers.”

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MARUATONA PUBLISHES ABSTRAXTION BOOK

Keletso Thobega

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Oarabile Omaru Maruatona has published a book titled Abstraxtion, a collection of literary summaries. He recently explained to Vibe that an abstract in a literary sense is a summary of a larger text.

“The pieces I wrote are abstracts in both a literary and artistic sense. In this book, I take the reader through the exhibition of my abstracts, hence Abstraxion. This is a word I came up with, and it is as daring as the book itself is,” he said. He further said his context at the time he started writing is what got him to write in the first place. “In 2010, I decided to leave the best job I could ever have in Botswana, as a graduate with Debswana to return to Australia.

I had previously studied my bachelors’ degree in Australia on a Debswana scholarship. I probably had the best job any graduate could have at the time, and I spent it moving from one section of the mine to another until I had covered the entire mining value chain. As you can imagine, it was an amazing opportunity and I was getting paid for it. So to walk away from a gig like that, I had to think deeper about the new Australian opportunity, an industry PhD.

“This is a PhD that one does in collaboration with an industry entity who have a direct interest in the research or the research outcome. My PhD was in collaboration with one of the biggest banks in Australia and involved researching and developing Artificial Intelligence algorithms to be used in the bank’s Internet banking systems for security. So all this overwhelmed me and I felt like I was going insane at some point. I needed an occasional outlet. To reaffirm my sanity, I started writing short pieces, mostly reflecting on my experiences and learnings.

I have always been a keen reader and a conscious consumer of music so as I started to write, my musical, literary and other artistic tastes came together and the product was the unique style of writing and content found in Abstraxion.”  Maruatona further noted that he first wrote the book for his sanity and intellectual freedom, and mostly because he loved it. “Over time, I realized my topics were always political, Africanist, philosophical and somewhat activist.

I resolved that if these pieces had to form a book, it had to inform and inspire the reader. I also knew that the book had to be on-point content-wise, style-wise and timewise. I wrote every piece when I had at least an hour to write, most pieces were written in between times, which is why the whole book took the duration of my PhD.

The book includes 45 pieces and I cover a range of topics including the state of Africa, the global economic system, climate change, personal introspection, old African legends and a few homages including one to women, one to my unborn child and another to the people who have enriched my life one way and another.” Maruatona noted that this book is for knowledgists: those who love and seek knowledge. “The book came from deep intellect but the philosophical notions shouldn’t scare the everyday reader. It is a book to be read, shared and discussed.”

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