2013 is going to be an equally eventful year if not busier than 2012 for jazz chorister, Kearoma Rantao, as she plans to launch and promote her debut 8-track album, titled ‘When the Music Plays’, which was formerly released last year. Kearoma is part of the Women of Jazz quartet and owes her inspiration to the late international South African recording artists Miriam ‘Mama Africa’ Makeba who Kearoma describes as “a woman who stands up, works hard and wakes up every day to realise her worth”.
Listeners should expect strong vocals from Kearoma – result of having started singing at a tender age of 7, singing in church choirs. She boasts having performed alongside the music industry’s big wigs like Tshepo Tshola, Bongo Muffin, Johnny Mokhali and, recently, alongside our very own Banjo Mosele, Zeus and Shanti LO at the Generations in Harmony concert.
In true diva style, Kearoma always looks up to speed and really rises to the occasion with her hair, makeup and costumes. Her hair is exclusively done by hairdresser Tlhomamo Diamond and, depending on her mood, Kearoma explains that, “I do use different designers for the different moods and feel, amongst them Mpho Kuaho, Shanti Lo, Oury at Wellya fashions and Thabiso. They are the best and they design and create what I like.”
For fun, Kearoma says that she just hangs around with friends and family, she also admits to being a bit of an internet junkie since she spends at least half of her free time surfing on the internet.
“It really refreshes me,” she states with a little chuckle.
One thing fans might not know is that Kearoma holds Human Rights Activism very close to her heart and that if she was not busy belting out melodies, she would be an activist herself.
“I have always had a heart for underprivileged people so one day I want to see myself standing up for them, representing all the disadvantaged communities in Africa.”
Kearoma refers to a song in her latest album, titled ‘A woman’s Cry’, which she says reflects her feelings towards those who are currently suffering.
Not only does Kearoma want to succeed as an artist herself, she has indicated that as part of her career road map, she would like to see to it that roads are paved for younger and upcoming artists so that they get opportunities to explore their talents in the music industry.
Kearoma indicates that she would like to establish a developmental program for younger, enthusiastic children and she would call it ‘Dream Child.’
This program, according to Kearoma, will focus on exploring talent, including music and other avenues, and will be spearheaded by her company, ‘Cros- Park Holdings.’
For the just ended Christmas Holidays, Kearoma went back to the basics by spending quality time with family and close relatives.
“It has always been our culture and we do it all the time and it is one of my most memorable moments in my life.”
Kearoma likes staying home a lot and explains that when on tour she misses her children so much that just being home doing household chores, especially helping out with homework, gives her great satisfaction.
As in any career choice, there are perks and there are downfalls. Kearoma describes the perks in her industry as being able to meet different people of different nationalities and characters. The liaising creates a vast array of opportunities. As an artist, she finds it very exciting also when she gets to travel, and describes it as a tour full of fun and adventures.
The downside, however, Kearoma states that it occurs when people are not buying their music and insists that piracy should be stopped. She also despises performance wise companies which are not willing to pay the prices which are charged by professional jazz artists. She further indicates that it is quite costly to organise and prepare for a show and that part alone has to be taken into consideration in future as artists represent Botswana.
She says that underpaying artists hinders growth and others end up giving up due to failure to maintain the standards.
Fans should be on the look for Kearoma’s national tour as she presents ‘When the Music Plays’ to Batswana.