The voice is such an incredible branding tool that to a follower of music, just two songs are enough to inform who their mentor is. It therefore does not come as a surprise that three years after parting ways with Maxy Sedumedi, her two former dancers, Mpho Selao and Shinny Chabi, still have such strong vocals that here and there express her trade mark groan.
The same can be said about many who are the products of the late Gomolemo Motswaledi. There are compositions of traditional and gospel music, which when you listen to, you would immediately conclude that it was the late who composed them.
With the former Flower girls, now, Baetapele however, the situation is a bit different because they recorded with a different studio from that of their mentor.
That, however, could not kill the musical spirit the duo adopted. Instrument-wise, the songs cover various genres of traditional music; Tsutsube modified by musical instruments and others make the eight-track album a traditional entertainment offering, especially during travel. Real traditional, the songs are mostly in Setswana. One song is titled in Kalanga but the wording is both Setswana and Ikalanga.
The theme covers various aspects of life. The first track is about a wife questioning a husband where he spent the night.
“The reason why there are lots of divorce and gender-based violence is because men have got the tendency to make their spouses get used to love making, only to later start infidelity and sleeping out; depriving them of conjugal rights and when they follow suit all hell breaks loose. Our female fans have expressed this several times, hence this song,” said Selao, the lead vocalist in the track during an interview.
Track four ÔÇôSampokane – which is the title track also narrates romance. Sampokane is a troublesome young man who does not know there is what is called a ‘one night stand’. He does not want to accept that the lady did not have any feelings for him when they engaged in the act; that there were no strings attached to it. Instead he goes around telling everyone that she is his girlfriend.
Otherwise other songs highlight life challenges – Lenyalo (marriage) it needs commitment; while Mmamati, Sheleng, Ao iyelele, are modified old folklore songs that narrate the life of an orphan, approving of bride prize and poetry in that order.
The eighth track – Banana – is designed to caution the youth against alcohol abuse. The arrangement of the music may attract even those without passion for traditional music.
“We give time to our fans and we allow them to suggest the music we should play for them. The fact that we have such relationship helps us keep going even when things are tough,” said Selao. She said they changed their name from Flower girls to Baetapele because they found it somehow weird to be called by an English name while they sing traditional music.