Friday, October 21, 2016

Album Immortalizes Lebo Mathosa
By Lesley Mofokeng - Entertainment Editor
Oct 21, 2016

A decade after her untimely death, Lebo Mathosa's voice has been brought back to life.
Kwaito singer Lebo Mathosa. Picture Credit: Gallo Images

On Sunday, it will be exactly 10 years since Mathosa died in a car crash near the Heidelberg off-ramp in Germiston, on the East Rand.

She was 29 years of age. A young talent snuffed out in its prime, she was touted as the next Brenda Fassie because of her sheer genius as a performer after her solo forays following the success of her band Boom Shaka.

Boom Shaka was a pioneering kwaito group consisting of Junior Sokhela, Mathosa, Thembi Seete and Theo Nhlengethwa.

Today, Universal Music released a 15-track dance compilation album, Lebo Remembered, which celebrates her biggest hits such as Benga with Shana, Free with Boom Shaka, Brand New Day and Dangerous.

DJ Christos met Mathosa when she was just 13 and recorded her with Boom Shaka when she was 15. He remembers Mathosa like his own child. Christos remixed I Love Music and Awudede. "I've been recording Lebo all my life," says Christos.

"It doesn't feel like 10 years since she has been gone, [it] still feels like yesterday. She was close to a lot of people and had a special impact. She was like my child. It was sad to lose such a talent and now we can remember her with this album."

Christos says Mathosa could have gone on to become one of the top international acts to come from South Africa. "I think she would have gone jazzy and more experimental, perhaps world music but would not have been confined to a genre."

The music on Lebo Remembered is surprisingly refreshing and entertaining for material recorded over 10 years ago. And this, Christos pins on her work ethic and ambitions.

"I have never met an artist as dedicated as Lebo. She would spend 18 to 20 hours in the studio singing and perfecting the same verse . She was the first one to come into the studio and the last to leave."

Compiler Matwetwe Ntombini says most of the music was sourced from the SABC library and comes as a CD and a DVD of music videos and five live performances. "I would like the listener to walk away with the experience of what it was like to encounter Lebo. She was a dancer, singer and entertainer par excellence, and she was a very sweet child."

Says former band member Nhlengethwa: "It still feels so new [her death]. I miss her and I remember a lot about her. She was amazing, giving and spiritual too. She was everything in my life, I miss hearing her voice and her loving soul. I've accepted that she's gone, but you never forget someone who played a major role in your life."

No comments: