'In music I find hope' - jazz legend, Selaelo Selota

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Devon Thomas

43 days ago
'In music I find hope' - jazz legend, Selaelo Selota Musician Selaelo Selota was in studio with Clement Manyathela. Picture: EWN/ Abigail Javier.

As an award-winning jazz musician, a prolific guitarist and one of music's greatest producers and composers, Selaelo Selota has left an indelible mark on the face of South African music and culture, with a career spanning over 20 years.

The jazz legend joined Clement Mayathela where Manyathela played favourites - including One Country and I Will Ask Freedom throughout the interview where Selota talked about his life, career and musical impact.

Growing up in rural Sekuruwe, Limpopo, Selota has always used his life experiences, culture and home language in his music to create identity.

"When I found music, I found it as something I could establish an identity for myself. Hence, identity is very important in my music and telling who I am, where I come from. I actually used music to create an identity for myself."

Selaelo Selota, Musician

Selota released his first album Painted Faces in 2000 after almost losing hope as an artist before he was signed to BMG Records in 1999.

Not only a naturally prolific talent, Selota also studied the craft at Federated Union of Black Artists (FUBA) where he studied music theory, and later at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where he completed a jazz degree.

He used the skills learnt through formal training and combined with his immense talent to produce and compose music for Judith Sephuma's award-winning and bestā€selling albums A Cry, A Smile, A Dance and Change is Here.

The musician is revered by artists, industry and the country alike, which makes sense because of the messages he embeds in his music.

"Within the song, I also find an element that actually gives me hope about the now... I just wanna use that to say don't give up. Come rain or come shine, we must still persist in hoping that we will get it right."

Selaelo Selota, Musician

Selota has released six studio albums, including Painted Faces (2000), Lapeng Laka (2009), and The Promise (2013), and started two record labels - Live at the Shack Entertainment and later, Soul Truth.

Though you can stream his music on major platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, the legend prefers that his fans buy his music if they truly want to support and empower him and other artists in the world.

The best way to empower me and many other musicians out there in the world, buy the music and download it. Streaming does not really bring much revenue for the artist. If you buy the music and have it on you, that is what brings me something."

Selaelo Selota, Musician

Listen to the full interview below.

This article first appeared on 702 : 'In music I find hope' - jazz legend, Selaelo Selota

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