As one of the producers who has undeniably shaped the local music industry with quality and originality, Charles Motsemme is steadily gaining ground across borders. Affectionately known as ‘Favi ÔÇô a name that was a result of his young nephew slurring his real one, this alias has matured into a force behind many hits in Botswana’s music industry.
A producer, artist developer, vocalist and music director, Favi’s versatility and productions have gained him recognition not only locally, but in other countries as well. I sat down with him to learn more about the man who has produced some of Botswana’s top charting music.
When one takes a simple glance at Charles ‘Favi’ Motsemme, with his thick dreadlocks and a poise that echoes his artistry, they would never anticipate the gifts behind his calm persona.
Recognized as one of the top notch producers to ever emerge from our soils, Favi was born to a lawyer mother and economist father.
When his parents bought a piano, the young Charles, then only nine years old, became very eager to learn how to play it.
“My uncle taught me how to play one basic song. I started listening to songs with more diligence and I would play them by ear on the piano and that’s where my journey began,” said Motsemme.
He recalled his father’s jazz collection as having been a great influence that fashioned him into developing a learned ear for great music. “My sister also loved pop music and her collection introduced me to the likes of Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Prince and others who also pioneered this genre,” he added. “My family isn’t musical but they shaped my love for music,” he revealed.
A self-taught pianist, Favi became part of a group called Versatile that comprised of Tlhobs, K-Lok and Sherry Dee of which he was also a vocalist.
After releasing their first radio single entitled ‘Things You Do’, this 34-year old furthered his passion for production.
Mentored by legendary artist and producer, David ‘Ski’ Molosi, Favi started working with the likes of HHP, Goofy and Zeus. He temporarily relocated to South Africa to sharpen his production skills at the Academy of Sound Engineering (ASE) in 2007 and through familiarising himself with the music scene there, he worked his way to producing for A-listers in theSouth African music industry such as TKZee, Dj Fresh, Zubz, The Soil, Tumi, Kabomo and continues to work with a few. He was also one of the producers of MTN Exploded, which was a music platform for upcoming and unsigned artists.
Dubbed a hit maker, he produced songs like Zeus’ ‘Imagination’ and Samantha Mogwe’s ‘Transition’ which grew a large listenership in local radio stations. He has also done music for artists such as Scar, T.H.A.B.O, Lista Boleseng and Lee, just to name a few.
In a recent picture he posted on facebook, Favi is seen with the afro singing duo sensation, Mafikizolo, at Wonga Music Studios where he occasionally does production work.
“I’m currently working on a collaborative album, entitled ‘BFG’, composed of two other veteran producers, Thabo Letsatle and Bonolo Mogotsi, and we are set on releasing it soon,” he said when asked about his latest projects. He mentioned that the album will showcase both his production and vocal talent as he is singing on some of the songs.
Favi has also started his own company called Golden Child Productions that aims to refine singers and improve the standard of the entertainment industry. “There’s a lot of talent in Botswana, it just needs a lot of guidance and quality production to reach international standards and I hope to be one of the producers to make that possible for local artists,” he enthused.