10 Botswana artists to watch for in 2018
The brand new year, 2018 has materialized and many people are indulging in retrospection and re-evaluating some of their life choices. New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity for all those who have failed to start making the changes that they said they would make next week, next month, or perhaps when winter starts. With the New Year already in its 3rd week, #BotswanaUnplugged rank the artists who could be a force to be reckoned with in 2018.
The following 10 artists all seem primed and ready to make 2018 a year to remember not only for them but for their fans. So, without further ado, here are the 10 artists you should watch out for in 2018…
ATI, officially known as Atlasaone Molemogi to his legion of fans truly offers a breadth of fresh air to the Botswana musicscape. Born 28 years ago in the Bamangwato capital of Serowe in the Central District, the versatile and incalculable Botswana performer is plausibly in a league of his own, and continues to make his nemesis and cronies alike play a game of unceasing catch-up.
The nifty rapper recently cemented his influential distinction when he bagged six awards at the recent Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) Music Awards – Best Hip Hop/Motswako Artist, Best Single, and Best Collaboration featuring Young Amazing and Legacy DG in the popular song “Khiring Khiring Khorong”, Best Song of the Year, Best Single Track and Best Male Artist.
Even more gratifying positive vibes for ATI is his current deal with the Botswana Telecommunications Corporations Limited (BTCL) as the brand ambassador for a period of 12 months, which sees his hit single and trending household anthem “Khiring Khiring Khorong” becoming the face of the local telecommunications and Internet service provider’s summer campaign – #SummerkaMonate #SummerkaBathoBame.
If you’re looking for an example of his rise, take a listen to “Khiring Khiring Khorong” a song that has the smoothness and accessibility needed for this young cat to break big taken from his brand new album “Envelope”.
Thuto Ricardo Ramphaleng, better known as DramaBoi continues to treat Botswana Hip-hop and music fans alike to his lit and well-crafted musical renditions courtesy of his dope album, Township Music 2. In 2016, DramaBoi took Botswana Craft by storm when he appeared with a live band featuring MMP Family, Katlego Ramphaleng, Gaone Ranthoiwa and Rizz; who are also musicians appearing on his album.
“Township Music 2 is a very exciting album for me. I did things very differently for this release. I am still the same DramaBoi who landed with Godzilla, except this time around I am bigger and better. From releasing the album digitally, to offering a DramaBoi app and now a live experience of the album – there has been nothing quite like this approach in Botswana. The live music rendition of Township Music 2 is an opportunity to show my fans the craft behind what I do. It is also a demonstration of how versatile Botswana’s musicians can be as artists,” DramaBoi said.
Dramaboi has two albums under his belt. One is dubbed “Township music – Wa Makeishane” and the other is called “Township Music 2- Dramaboi”. It also appears Dramaboi cares little about the impact of scooping an award. At one point; after the #YAMAs to be precise, the rapper tweeted, “Let them win awards while I win the hearts of the people in the streets”.
It was also during his performance at the inaugural St. Louis Fresh Fest held at Maun Stadium on December 2, 2017, that Dramaboi unleashed a lyrically-charged acapella annihilating everything in his path, thus earning himself tonnes of music fans after sharing the video clip via his digital media platforms. We can only hope and pray that his path will further be paved with more hits in 2018.
The “Seileng” hit maker, Hanceford Magapatona better known as Han-C in the music scene is a true manifestation of the adage ‘dynamite comes in small packages’. This young man is truly talented. Each time he takes to the musical stage, especially now that he has incorporated live instruments in his act, audiences continue to be utterly blown away, with some wondering how a miniature character such Han-C can pack such a powerful punch lyrically.
This young man has firmly made a name for himself and implanted his smooth and scintillating voice in their hearts of many natives, and now, 2018 may be the year that Han-C will firmly break onto the Botswana charts. His 13-track album “On My Own” released on 13th December 2017 is a banger.
“In 2018 we’ll be doing lots of promotional work. I’m going to be releasing more singles and videos from the album. I’m also going to embark on a nationwide tour of the album. In terms of new music, I’ll be doing more collaboration work but more focused on African artists. I’m also going to be more active on the digital space by launching my website and a YouTube channel. Other things to look out for include my own merchandise”.
He’s one Botswana’s most versatile Hip-hop MCs. Born Thato Matlhabaphiri, Scar needs no introduction to the legion of his followers. He’s been on radio, judged the continental Idols Africa TV show and currently co-owns Loapi Events – a company behind the exclusive and premium entertainment nights in the CBD that includes Fashion and Dining Mondays as well as Hip-hop and RnB live sessions on Thursdays.
“This year I’m releasing my album #SongsForAdrian and I’m really excited because I have been playing around with ideas for the past two or so years and I think we finally got something I can be proud of. We are working with a long-time friend and producer, Drak who I’ve known for over 10 years and we share very similar music vibes. I’m more collaborative with the whole project as you will see what we ultimately put out, the single aptly tagged ‘Sick Man’.” The talented rapper said he plans on releasing a 15-track album towards mid-year.
“We are also working harder on visuals so we can depict our music in a more understandable way. Not everyone hears lyrics. I appreciate the music young people are making and I’m excited to be making songs with some of them. What I don’t want is to alienate my fans while trying to impress the new ones. We are merely just striking and balance and hopefully it comes together,” said Scar.
In closing, Scar said, Monna o bonwa ka ditiro. I’m just happy for all the support from last year and be sure for more bangers this year. I hope you enjoy Sick Man. Follow us on Twitter: scarbond and Facebook: SCAR (Lebadi)”.
She was indisputably the hottest musician in Botswana in 2016. Her two songs; ‘Black Mampatile’ and ‘Moratiwa’ heatedly and recurrently topped Botswana’s Top 20 most played songs across all the five radio stations; being Duma FM, Gabz FM, RB1, RB2 and Yarona FM.
For the entire duration of May 2016; Amantle Brown’s ‘Black Mampatile’ spun 97 times across all the five radio stations and continued its dominance during the just ended month of June with 73 spins. Her pleasant-sounding exertions were recently cemented when she was nominated in five categories at the 2015 Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) Music Awards where she ultimately scooped two awards being ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Best R&B’.
“This year I want to make the brand, Amantle Brown as more professional as it can possible be. I have started working with my manager, Johnson Gotsileame of Sebaga Marketing whom I believe has capabilities to take the brand to greater heights,” said Amantle. Her greatest mission this year, she said was to create more visuals from her upcoming album.
“I just recently shot a video for ‘Sa Pelo’, reason being I just wanted to release the song as a single since I figured that Batswana didn’t know the song at all even though it was in the previous album. So I am considering it as my first single for the year because I figured it has greater potential.”
Furthermore, Amantle noted that on the first week of February, she will be releasing her second single dubbed #Berekamosadi, which will then be followed by her 13-track album.
“This will be my 2nd album and I have still not yet decided on the title but it will drop late April. In the new album you are going to hear more growth, upgraded lyrical content and overall improved quality of the music. My vocal abilities have also improved. We are planning to do an outstanding one-man show, album tour, and just venture in other arising opportunities i.e. becoming a brand ambassador and an entrepreneur.” Look for Amantle Brown’s name to be heard even more in 2018.
“My 5th Afro Jazz album titled ‘Jazzing Up’ will be a showcase of my 16 years of continuous learning and discovery of my lyrical skills, vocal development and new instrumental sounds explorations,” said Punah this week.
Her latest 10-track album dubbed “Jazzing Up” will be released into the market this month end (January 31st) and the leading lady of Jazz explained that Batswana will instantly fall in love with the album as it comprise soothing inspirational songs, which are mostly done in vernacular Setswana language while some are in both English and Setswana.
“Surprisingly though, some songs are not your usual Punah resonance simply because it is my wish to keep my brand evolving and becoming attuned to current times and trends. On this album, I worked with several young Batswana and very talented producers and instrumentalists to showcase that Botswana indeed has musical talents and great sound qualities. These include BK Proctor & Shatani Aaron, Keyboards: Bonnie L.L. Keabile; Bass: Kabelo Tamukate & Orapeleng Ado Baemisi; Guitars: Coaster Sepheko & Regionald Makunga, Drums: Sugha R. Tsebe, Sleeve Design: Massie Hule.”
Punah added that another plus for her this year is being under new management based in RSA, Black Eagle Management in collaboration with her Punah Entertainment Botswana Management.
“We hope to intensify our marketing beyond our borders. Our music will be available on various online outlets since we are moving with the current trends to broaden our market. Songs to look out for include Dinoka, Jazzin UP, Kgomo 1, Bodimo, Pula, Go tsohala yo Ratang, Tsamaya le nna , Lentswe, Hymn of Kabelo Tamukate and Kgomo 2.”
In 2018, Punah plans to launch her brand new album both in Botswana and RSA, intensify all marketing around the Punah brand as well as broaden her music mentorship program on the young upcoming jazz musicians.
“I will continue doing corporate events, charitable events and festivals, continue to be involved in Gender Based Violence and children welfare campaigns as well as raising the Botswana brand and flag through music.” 2018 could be the year when Mrs. Punah Gabasiane-Molale could have it all.
Currently under Zen Promotions management, the new Hip-hop kid on the block is breaking new barriers. He has been nominated four times in the 4th annual Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs); Best Collabo, Best Hip-hop/Motswako single, Song of the year and Best single male courtesy of his banger song, Zaka featuring Yaw Bannerman.
“Since last December I’ve been working on a new project, which I’m set to release early 2018. My fans can expect more visuals to the music that I’m going to be putting out too. A lot of music is going to be put out this year from making my own projects to joint projects with other artists, at home and across the border. There’s more growth in the music definitely, you know, and I’m at a different stage in my life. I don’t want to say too much but this year is going to be a very exciting one for the culture,” said Veezo.
It is this extensive sound buffet that makes Veezo a brand that you should really pay attention to in 2018.
CULTURE SPEARS/KULENYANE/KABELO MOGWE
Even though they all went their separate ways to pursue solo careers, 2018 should bring excitement to the fans of Culture Spears, as a come together is allegedly imminent. The leading Culture Spears vocalist, Kabelo Mogwe who has assumed the name Kulenyane in his solo performances, just like a phoenix wants to stamp his authoritative musical ingenuity in the hearts of many Batswana this year.
Last year October, Kulenyane released an album featuring a South African traditional artist, Mma-Ausi. He said quite stirring was the return to the stable, former Culture Spears dancers and vocalists among them Thembeni Ramosetlheng, Jelina Mogwatlhe and Lydia Wile.
“We toured together this past December – through their solo names – Ramozara, Selonyana and Ocean Girl, as well as performing songs from Culture Spears. We had a successful show in Mmatshumo, Boteti.”
Last year, we released a Culture Spears DVD, from my ‘Tonkana’ album, and it didn’t do well and I’m hoping for the better this year. We also have a yearly show in Lesotho which takes place every March organised by one radio station there called Modisa oo Molemo.” Once a darling of the Botswana music landscape, Kabelo said the revival of Culture Spears in on the cards.
“I don’t like people pointing fingers at Magdalene or anyone. We all have solo projects and when the time is right we will regroup for a new album as a group.”
This week she tweeted, “I’m honestly about to make my country so proud. I just hit a major lick…can’t wait to drop the news.”
And when one looks at her positive 2017 outlook, you’ll see why the overall performing Goddess could be the next new age hip-hop star of 2018. The “Mmamongwato” hitmaker is garnering praise all over the genre, and if she keeps this path, look for more big-name hip-hop artists to help her rise up the ranks in 2018.
She’s always bringing the much needed verve and flavour whenever she takes to the stage. Her raunchy albeit sexy twerking on stage always amplifies her performance.
The lyrically gifted female rapper upped the ante with her performance in South Africa’s iRock festival where he left everyone asking for more. She was also featured in ATI’s new album, “Envelope” and 2018 sure looks like it’s gonna be an epic one for Sasa.
During 2016, all the way until 2017, Charma gal reigned supreme with her comeback album, “Ke ya Mokolodi”. Just this past festive season, Charma gal continued to ignite everyone’s festive mood and fired each and every mojemo.
Her latest song, “Jabu ke mo mejemong” trended throughout festive garnering her new followers as well as cementing existing relations with her loyal fans. This year, we are likely to see Charma gal making more international collaborations.
In her last album, she brought Zimbabwe’s ingenious musicians; Jah Prayzah (Morongo) and Oliver Mtukudzi (Motokwe) adding that the neighbouring country is her second home due to the massive reception her music enjoys. 2018 could be the year where she could be headlining her own concerts as well as bolstering her brand appeal on the charts.