Johannesburg - A year and a half into working in the corporate world, Mpho Sebina realised that music was her calling.
“I was in advertising for about a year around 2014/15 and I just did not feel fulfilled in (my) job, but I was always doing music on the side. I decided to see what would happen if I dived into the world of music,” she said.
The journey since then has been fulfilling but tough.
“I was learning as I go and I made a lot of mistakes but there has also been some beautiful achievements out of it. It has been up and down but I am glad to have done it.”
The singer and songwriter grew up surrounded by music. Her sound is influenced by R&B, hip hop, soul, jazz and folkloric Tswana music.
Sebina, 30, is part of a group of artists who will be giving bespoke music performances that have been filmed live at Untitled Basement for the first season of The Art Of series. She will be performing a collection of her neoAfro soul songs for the occasion.
“The creative process of song choice depends on the time and how
I am feeling at that moment, and what I want to talk about. The mood at that particular time will tell how the song list is going to go,” she said.
“The track list for the Untitled performance I wanted to introduce listeners that haven’t heard the music before to more of my older stuff, my mash-ups and also some newish kind of songs. Songs on my album and some collaborations as well, I will perform. It’s a mix of everything.”
The artists also in the line-up for this season are jazz musicians Bokani Dyer, Paul Hamner, Carlo Mombelli as well as DJ Kenzhero. The performances will premiere tomorrow and run until March 18.
The musos will also be in conversation about the challenges in the creative arts space under the lockdown.
“The lockdown for me felt like an incubation period because I managed to wrap up my album, Lora. I used that period to really create more, I had all the time in the world so I didn’t have any day-to-day things to do,” said Sebina.
Lora is a 12-track project that Sebina has dedicated to the dreamers and creatives. Lora means “dream” in Setswana. “I wanted to create a piece for us to just keep going and a little
joyful place for the dreamers to just relax and enjoy music.”
The album is available on all streaming platforms. Sebina hopes that people who tune in will enjoy a nostalgic live music space.
“I think people are missing that live music element, this time they will enjoy it from the comfort of their own homes, which I think is always great. I want them to enjoy the beauty of live music and collaboration in a different digital way. This is the future of live performance, so I think this may be the beginning of something,” she said.
The series is created by Bradley Williams and Lebo Rasethaba. Each performance features high-definition audio recorded by renowned engineer Gavan Eckhard, and edited by Dein O’Toole. Audiences can expect a high-quality production.
The series will be available on Untitled Basement’s Quicket page with the cost of each show being R120 (three screenings per show/household) or R360 for the series of four shows.