LOCAL jazz musician, Selimo Thabane, is set to rock the United Kingdom this October as part of a promotional tour for his debut jazz album, Tšimollo.
Affectionately known as Lakabane, Thabane shot to prominence after his Kwaito album Dices & Tokens won the Best Kwaito Album at the Ultimate Music Awards in November last year.
He has however decided to try his hand at jazz and the result has been Tšimollo (The Beginning), a 13 track album Thabane says has been “getting nothing but pure love”.
“Tšimollo is my first jazz album but the support I have been getting from the audience is just out of this world and it has also been doing well in the market because since it was dropped in February this year I have sold 2500 of the 4000 copies produced so far,” Thabane told the Weekender.
“That is a big number in our local music industry and I am very impressed.
“Of course people have been asking about Lakabane and Kwaito music but I don’t think I will ever do a kwaito album. But I will feature on others’ work when needed,” he said, adding, “This Jazz thing is my calling and I believe I have found myself a new home”.
Thabane described his music as Manga-Jazz because “Jazz is a foreign name and doesn’t fully explain us as a nation”.
“This is why I decided to call my music Manga-Jazz because I want it to be my trademark, the way I make my songs.
“I want them to be easily differentiated from other artistes and if anyone one from Lesotho get to listen to the music from anywhere outside the country they must just miss home.”
He said he had always wanted to do jazz but he was prohibited by lack of funds.
“I have always wanted to do jazz but unfortunately it came with lot of expenses unlike Kwaito where you only sit in front of the computer and produce a beat then you are good to go. Jazz is a genre listened to by almost everyone regardless of their musical preferences and so through this album, I am broadening my musical reach and increasing my fan base.”
The Khomo hit maker also explained how he came up with the idea for the song.
“I was invited to a live band festival in South Africa and we took to the stage to break the ice.
“One of my guitarists, Mlangeni was playing TKZEE’s mambotjie but I wanted to come up with something from Lesotho then boom, this song from my high school days came to my mind.
“The vocalists and crowd started singing along and the song got such a positive response that I decided to add it into the album because I had already recorded by that time.”
Thabane has performed in several festivals in South Africa including the Cherry festivals and the Sediba Fourth Annual Festival.
His music has also been receiving air play on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) radio stations as well different local radio stations.
“I want to give this album at least a year and a half then I will drop the second album which I have already started working and people should look out for hit singles such as Felleng.”
He said he had set high standards with the Tsimollo album which he would have to work hard to maintain.
Thabane is also the Ultimate Music Awards (UMA) ambassador.
“This Friday I will be at BMI Hotel in Teyateyaneng as part of my Lesotho Tour and I will be in different places every week to promote the album.
“I can’t lie, I have been receiving nothing but pure love from my supporters. I am the UMA ambassador and artistes who want to submit their material for nomination must know that wherever I go I will be carrying the forms with me.”
Thabane, a nephew to All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader, Thomas Thabane, said people should not associate his music career with his political affiliation.
“I am sorry to say this but it is just here at home where we are immature. In the United States of America Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z have publicly supported Barrack Obama but their music is still being bought, people need to learn to draw the line between me and my political affiliation because I make music for everyone,” he said.