SA musician pays tribute to Lesotho

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Morore “Morayks” MphahleleBy Mohalenyane Phakela

MASERU — Talented, afro-ethnic jazz musician from Seshego, Polokwane has released an exciting debut album, a giant step which will thrill his fans and marvel the world.

Morore “Morayks” Mphahlele released an album titled Lesotho, marking a giant step in the career of the multi-talented singer-songwriter.

Morayks hopes his debut album will build upon his fan base and get his music to be heard by more people than ever.

In an interview with the Weekender on Monday, Mphahlele said the title track was inspired by his visit to the Mountain Kingdom.

“It was in 2007 when I stepped on Lesotho’s soil for the first time.

“I was a backing vocalist for Palesa (when performing at the National Convention Centre) who is produced by Don Laka.

“I was so excited to be in Lesotho, people here speak with humbleness and their greetings “Khotso Ntate! Khotso ’M’e!” made me even more fascinated and I could only express my gratitude in a song.

“Then in 2010 I came with my friend Thabo Segonyane.

“It was incredible,  we had a performance at Roma if I’m right. As I was in the hotel I came up with this song, about a beautiful lady I saw, as a young man hailing from Limpopo Ga­-Mphahlele. I said to myself: “Why not reciprocate the same kindness and reception I was given in Lesotho and compose a song about it.”

The album Lesotho consists of 13 tracks composed and arranged by Morayks.

Each track provides a combination of melodious vocals and heartfelt lyrics.

It’s a colourful album with each track possessing its own individual feel.

The first track, Morore has Sepedi rhythms is different from all the instruments, vocal percussions and praise poetry about where Mphahlele is from as well as almost all the kings and queens of Limpopo.

The title track, Lesotho, has a strong bass guitar and the accordion of the Basotho culture. The album is diverse with love songs, afro-pop, afro-jazz, afro-contemporary and reggae elements.

The compilation was co-mentored by Vusi Mahlasela and Selaelo Selota.

Musicians who supported the album are associated with Zahara, Solly Mahlangu, HHP, Liquideep and Miagi Orchestra, just to name a random few.

The album was produced by Morayks and is already dominating the South African radio charts.

Morayks’ life has certainly been full of experiences.

In 2013 alone, he performed in a two-man band with The Muffinz at the South African State Theatre and the annual Tribute to South African Music Hero’s and Heroin’s concert.

Morayks said this of his work: “I was brought up in a very musical family. We sang at home, in church and at school.

“My father would whisper sweet melodies to get me to sleep.

“My parents always exposed us to a wealth of music as children.

“Although I learnt a lot of instruments as I was growing up, it wasn’t until I started my technical studies and finished writing my first song that a real changing point came for me.”

“Since then, my style has developed and I’ve incorporated other sounds and genres which have all made their way into Lesotho.

“The album is a reflection of my influences over the years and the changes that I’ve experienced recently in my life.”

Morayks does not shy away in singing in his mother tongue, Sepedi, as well as English, Zulu, Sesotho and Setswana.

“I grew up listening to African Jazz music at home, so this added a feel to it.

“Besides, I saw a vacant space in the music industry and fitted myself in since there aren’t many artistes doing this genre who are my peers and I love it because it also caters for different age groups.

“As a young person, I believe I’m setting myself apart from the usual by not doing the traditional jazz but infusing jazz elements as with traditional sounds to give an afro-ethnic jazz music genre,” he said.

 

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