Mpho Sebina – Inspired by Life, Inspired by Africa
Art is a vital thread in the fabric of society, and due to the Covid-19 lockdowns most people s now have a renewed appreciation for the arts and entertainment and those who have dedicated their lives to creativity.
Echo Newspaper Reporter RYAN BLUMTON speaks to Mpho Sebina about her career, her inspiration and her insight into the music industry. Mpho Sebina is a singer-songwriter and among Botswana’s most recognizable musicians whose music is reaching a global audience. Sebina blends different sound elements fusing soul, hip hop and jazz with traditional Setswana elements and folklore. Some of her titles include “Black Butterfly,” “No Evil,” “Pula” and “Melodi.”
Who is Mpho Sebina?
Mpho Sebina is a Motswana woman with a love for music, the continent of Africa and her people. I express myself through art and music is my main form of expression. I am also an Honors Degree Holder in International Business.
What inspires Mpho Sebina?
Africa Inspires me, more so the liberation of her people. The continent is so beautiful and rich with amazing food, color, music and the most beautiful people I have ever seen. Life inspires me, we all go through hurdles in life and I write music based on my personal struggles with anxiety. I also write inspired by the beauty of life!
What is your genre and are you willing to cross or perhaps even redefine genres?
I would classify my sound as ethereal soul and yes, I am open to other genres. I just made a song with Major League Djz which is Amapiano very different from what I have previously put out. My dream is to collaborate with Artists across Genres such as Skinflint, Franco, Damian Marley and Charma Gal. Those are some of my dream collaborations.
How challenging is the music industry?
The music industry is challenging in that everyone loves music but for some reason people do not want to pay for it. Artists in Botswana are extremely talented, and they share inspiring music for the nation to hear but it does not reflect in the finances that we make. At the end of the day artists need sustenance and to build legacies for their families.
Given your experience what would you say aspiring musicians have not grasped about what it takes to gain recognition?
Recognition should not be the main goal of a musician. My advice would be to make music that you are proud of, understand that the entire world is your audience so make your music available to the globe, keep creating, know that not everyone is going to like your music but create anyway.
What would you change about the music industry given the opportunity?
First and foremost, better pay for the musicians and artists of Botswana. If it were up to me the creative industry would be subsidized on various aspects of living being medical aid, rent, better loan rates etc.
What is next for Mpho Sebina? Are there any upcoming shows, singles or albums?
I have been working on music during lockdown which I will be sharing this September. Look out for that!
How do you balance the music production side and the commercial side?
I like to section my life into seasons, a season for writing, recording, promoting and rest!