Interview by Thato Nkatswang
Seleke Botsime, the well known Free State muso, painter and writer made waves this week when the controversial muso cut off his dreadlocks that had been his trademark fo r almost ten years! Thato Nkatswang spent time with Seleke Botsime, the man behind hits like Zimbabwe and A song for Buhle, and The grass is green on his first album Confrontation.
What’s new and happening now about you?
I have taken some time out and learnt and about the man that I am, growing and most importantly listen since to me listening is a skill. Another thing is that I was conceptualizing spending more time writing my first book that I released in June 2009- called “Blasphemy”.
Are you happy about the sales of the first album?
Yes indeed! Considering the fact that I signed it under my label(blue print production) with limited knowledge of music industry ! I didn’t do much of the marketing for it. I just got in the studio after dealing with so many emotions and now when I think back I wanted some therapy and music was my way out. I was so unhappy with so many things, my life and including the loss of someone that I loved so much, even in the studio I was crying a lot while doing the project. “Confrontation” to me was to say to the music industry “Hear I am- make a space for me”.
That is quite deep; do you think you can give me some clarity about that?
Let’s leave it for another day! It was just one of those moments when you wanted to shut the door and stay in bed for the rest of the day if not all your life, if you know what I mean.
Tell us about the new project? And about the new look??? We heard that you had some offers for your hair!
I am working on the new album called Resurrection! I know that people will think that it is still soon. But I decided to go back in the studio, and let’s call this project “reloaded” I do my very best to create music that will linger and it was not a mistake for me to find myself in the studio the first time. I write music to express my inner self and it’s about words not forgetting that my music is scripture orientated. And about my new look I thought about cutting my locks for sometime now and I believe it’s a time for growth ,and what I can promise my fans on the new project is a sound that is more stable and grounded than before, so my sound will compensate my looks!. To all those that thought that I will eventually sell my locks I just wanna say it’s against everything that I believe in, sorry!!.
So it’s not easy to be able to sell a lot of albums without having a record company. I believe that in due time I will be signed. I think most of the so called artists get in the industry for the money, and when it’s not coming they feel disappointed I realise that a lot of junk is what sells lately and really good music is not on the shelf anymore. A famous artist once said “What good is a song if it doesn’t inspire” One has to do it just for the love of it, but if the money comes let it be a bonus and beside the album I am working on a biography of the great musician called Gideon Selebano “Magiva”.
What do you think needs to be changed in the music industry, and how?
I don’t think there is really much that can be done, but I want people to know that there is only a fraction of artists who are really making money in the industry. Then for the rest of us we are just trying to survive. There has to be a way of making extra money for one to put food on the table and pay the bills.
I still much believe that the radio stations must start giving us more air play than overseas one’s, and to appreciate us more as local artists, and lastly the artist must polish their material if they want to be taken seriously in this industry. There is really no room for clowns.
PEOPLE OFTEN SAY THAT YOU HAVE A SERIOUS TEMPER AND YOU ARE VERY CONTROVERSIAL, WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT THAT??
Okay! I don’t like it when people forget that I have my life to live and I deserve some privacy too irrespective of being a musician. . I expect to be treated like any one else. Its true that some time I happen to loose it , and being controversial I will say I think people misunderstood me and at the end of the day that cause a serious problem.
Any spiritual belief that you live with, an album that you are playing now, and last word to your fans.
“God is never far” and the album that I am listening at this moment is of Simply red album called “stay”. And to those who believe in me from day one “Ndiya bonga kakhulu” May God be with you always.
I was very sceptical about the interview, but all I can say now is that I finished it being a fan of this handsome, artist of Bloemfontein and Free State news wishes him good luck in this cut throat industry!