Three members of the new jazz band, Ghetto Luv, that will be launching their album at the Millennium Jazz Restaurant tonight (Sunday), explained how they came about choosing their name. ├¼We started with 10 names that included Gracenote, Summertime, Spearhead and Scorpions and blindly picked one,├« says guitarist, Papi Brown.
├¼And we kept picking up others, arguing over them but Ghetto Luv came up most of the time,├« said, Pula Motswaiso, the band’s keyboard player.
And how did they come up with the name Ghetto Luv? All ten members of the band work together in the army and spend their leisure time together. The bands trombonist, Sam Motlhankamotho adds, ├¼We genuinely like each other.├«
The band members, who hail from as far between as Kanye, Molepolole and Tati Siding, are currently based in Ghetto. Ghetto being the name Francistowners affectionately refer to their town, so Ghetto Luv it was.
├¼The album was composed by us,├« Papi says. ├¼And we chose to play township jazz, instead of fusion which we also love. The reason we chose this genre is to appeal to both young and old.├«
Pula adds that there is a healthy jazz listenership in Botswana and that Batswana appreciate music, all that’s needed is to make the music available to them.
Botswana’s jazz market is thriving more than ever and, at this time, they prefer danceable Afro music that is jazzy which is what the album Itumele is, they say.
All ten members of Ghetto Luv have studied music and play in the army brass band. They each contributed to the eight songs in the album. Sam, Pula and Papi say that because their number and skill in different instruments and vocals there was no need to outsource any session musicians. It took them two years to create the songs and only two days to record them at Dargie Digital Studios.
The three members admit that though it is challenging to maintain a large band whose ages range between 26 and 35, the sound created by one is priceless. They give the African Jazz Pioneers as an example, as they (Ghetto Luv) also use a lot of brass in their arrangements.
Their album production was self financed and Papi says, though there is nothing wrong with signing up to a recording stable, he feels that in the current climate of Botswana’s recording industry, there is no good reason that one should owe a recording studio.
├¼We have read many stories were artists whine that they have been cheated by studio such and such,├« Papi says. ├¼They sign contracts that bind them to pay back the studios and end up not getting much,├« he says.
They encourage other musicians intending on recording albums to also look at other options of doing it themselves first.
The gates open at 1200hrs till 2200hrs at Ghetto Luv’s CD launch. Featured artists include Shanti Lo, Citie, Lekofi Sejeso, Puna Gabasiane, Lister Boleseng and Dikakapa. Tickets cost P50.