Sereetsi & The Natives has announced the release of the act’s third studio album due June 30th 2021. The album, which is entitled, I Am Afrika, presents one of Botswana’s most beloved creative forces in its most collaborative phase to date.The 9 track album features some of the most exciting singer-songwriters and instrumentalists from Botswana and the world.
Star features include US fast rising headliner and multi-award winning singer-songwriter and guitarist Jackie Venson, Nigerian multi-award winning heavy-hitter Brymo, Swedish soul crooner Oscar Soul Experience, South African multi-award winner Berita, SAMA award winning jazz piano maestro Bokani Dyer, Zambian stars Wezi and James Sakala as well as Botswana’s powerhouse singer-songwriter Han C.The album is produced by singer-songwriter and four stringer Tomeletso Sereetsi and Mikael Rosen who also plays drums on seven of the songs. Rosen also mixed and mastered the album, which was largely recorded at Lab In The Loop and Light House Studios.
“This was the most challenging and most fun album to make because of the unusually many and diverse collaborators for a Sereetsi & The Natives album. I would usually have a team of four or five musicians that would play on all songs in an album but this time around I picked a different team of musicians for each song depending on the creative outcomes I was going for,” says Sereetsi.He says he believes that I Am Afrika is still very much a Sereetsi & The Natives album despite the rich contributions of his culturally diverse co-stars.“I sent them the music that I composed and the lyrical content I was going for. So they worked within a sort of architecture that I already welded into place. I invited them into my world and they made it theirs and ours in a very special way,” says Sereetsi.He says that the making of the album was also a challenge as it had to happen during the Covid 19 pandemic.“It was very difficult to raise funding as the music industry went into total shutdown. That was the low point. But on the bright side, the creative pursuit was enriching and gave me hope that there will be a much joyous future where people will leave their houses to rejoice in the music once again. The making of the music was cathartic.
It healed me and kept my spirit alive,” he says.Sereetsi also makes special mention of natives (natives are Sereetsi & The Natives supporters/fans) who contributed financially towards the production of CDs.“I was lucky to have the cost of production of the CDs covered in part by some of the natives. I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart. They want nothing in return. All they want is for the native sounds to keep playing on and on,” he says.The songs in the album are namely The Afrika Song – It’s Our Time Now featuring Berita, Wezi, James Sakala, Mia Ismi and Afrika, Masheleng, Thelela featuring Brymo, Mathombo featuring Oscar Soul Experience, Tshaba featuring Han C, Ga o Yo, Koma featuring Jackie Venson, Heelang! and Rato Lame featuring Bokani Dyer.“I Am Afrika is largely about bringing Africans and humanity together to celebrate and embrace our rich diversity of musics, languages and cultures. And I was blessed to bring so many of the world’s most talented creatives together for this musical expression and celebration,” Sereetsi says.