Local house kwasa sensation and soon to be Africa’s hottest artist seems to be doing something right when it comes to his musical career and this week he was all smiles and grinning from ear to ear.
The artist in question is none other than Odirile Vee Sento and it appears that he has a magic touch. Whatever he touches turns to gold as evidenced by his success rate. The latest development is that he and local company, ViB Mobile have signed a historic deal that is tipped to be one of the biggest digital music distribution deals in Botswana. It comes with a whopping half a million pula.
The deal gives ViB Mobile exclusive digital distribution rights in Botswana to Vee’s upcoming album that is set for release this year. Through the deal, the album will be available on all three local mobile networks – Orange Botswana, Mascom and beMOBILE.
A release from ViB Mobile explains that the anticipated album that promises to sky rocket the brand of Vee in the continent will feature celebrated artists that include Jah Praizh, Casper Nyovest, Khuli Chana, Professor, Dj Tira and Naak Musiq, Dj Maphorisa and DJ Bucks (UHURU), Trademark, African Roots, to mention a few.
Speaking from South Africa with this publication, Vee said that the deal means a lot for a local company. It is even more special as the company has done something that other local companies have been unable to do, when it comes to supporting the music industry. “I am very proud of what ViB Mobile has been able to do. It is not every company that will have this much faith in the local music scene,” he said. He is equally excited at the opportunities that this deal will bring.
“It gives me power to work hard and put my all into the album. Now I need to make sure that everything regarding the album is right,” he said.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of ViB Mobile, Leroy Monaheng, the deal came about after the realisation that Vee was leading the pack when it comes to downloading caller tunes and ringtones. They sat down with him and mapped a mutually beneficial deal that has given birth to the exciting news.
He said that what they are doing with Vee is in line with what his company is trying to do regarding empowering him and other local artists. “We are hoping for the best regarding this deal and other similar deals. This deal will push local artists to work hard,” he said, adding that they are open to the possibilities of working with artists long before the album is released in order to see how they can assist each other.
Besides Vee, ViB Mobile also worked with most of the top-selling artists in the country including DJ Oats, Culture Spears, MMP Family, Lizibo and Shumba Ratshega. A press release explains that ViB Mobile has pioneered initiatives to make local music easily accessible through digital channels, and that this joint venture with Vee is a huge step in achieving that objective. It also says that between April 2015 and February 2016, ViB Mobile awarded local artistes royalties of around P400, 000.00.
“As the highest selling artist, Vee has led the pack, accumulating over a hundred thousand pula from these digital downloads,” it says. ViB Mobile’s ringtone products and services include Monophonic and Polyphonic Tones, True/MP3 Tones, Full Track Music and Caller Ringback Tunes (CRBT) and are distributed on all the local Mobile Network Operators.
KUX DROPS LEFATSHE LENO
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.”
MARUATONA PUBLISHES ABSTRAXTION BOOK
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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