With the release of Oxygen on the 4th of August, one of Botswana’s most recognizable artists, Samantha Mogwe is celebrating new beginnings. Oxygen is the start of what will be a new body of work from the singer/songwriter. Oxygen is a single written by Samantha Mogwe and Jordan Moozy, featuring both and produced by KD Bangers. “Oxygen is a new approach and a hopefulness of expecting things to be better and greater as one steps into a new season of one’s life,” said Mogwe.
Mogwe says she wants to avoid closing herself off to being experimental adding that music like culture is dynamic and not static. She believes that the same goes for being an artist and wants to show artistry that taps into various levels of creativity. Mogwe adds that the shift in her creative approach was a realization that she can celebrate all aspects of who she is given her upbringing and multi-cultural background without binding herself to a specific sound.
Regarding the collaboration with KD Bangers, Mogwe cites that it has been an incredible experience, a breath of fresh air challenging her to go beyond the commercial RnB sound towards elements of Afro sounds. “The energy that we are creating is one of ease and experimentation. It’s challenging and really brings me to appreciate the complexity and simplicity of music,” said Mogwe.
Mogwe says that there is value in tapping into different sounds as this can open artists to new audiences and that if an artist is interested in crossing over into different sounds then there is value in not limiting your sound.
Speaking about her journey in music Mogwe says that music is always a journey of discovery and that music is always changing giving the example of how technology is now allowing artists to bypass traditional publishing deals with labels and remain independent. “With that said the vision stays steady from year to year while the implementation, priorities and methods change depending on the climate of the market I find myself in,” she added.
Regarding producing music in an environment with the innovations of trend setting musical nations like Nigeria and South Africa Mogwe said that there is always room for something new and to look at how music has evolved over time.
Looking back at the worst periods of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mogwe says it was a learning experience and that it was something a lot of artists were worried about not just financially and mentally but in terms of connecting to audiences. “With every crisis comes vast opportunity. I used that time to kick things up a bit with my digital presence and to do digital shows with the help of my team and with some conversations with a fellow brother in the industry Sereetsi, who had also done the same,” said Mogwe.
Looking at the business of music in the post-pandemic world, Mogwe says that it is increasingly digitalized and with this comes an ability to quantify and figure out impact and reach making it easier to make adjustments if the need arises. “I am dealing with learning the different value chains in music, how best I can separate myself in ways that will increase my reach but also make money,” she said.
Mogwe is working with various producers currently. “The producers who are set in stone are Sandy Ncube. Others are still in the “draft” process (Flex the Ninja, Stretch, Amo Beatz). The plan is to make music that has a cross border appeal. Hopefully we will see more traction. I just want to make music that is appreciated by people all over the world,” Mogwe said.
About what wins in our global culture Mogwe says that it comes down to hard work but that also talent, luck and timing have to align and that the best formula is consistently building an audience and a following of people who genuinely appreciate what it is that you do. Mogwe’s next studio album VII (Seven) is set to release on September of 2022.