A medley of frenzied cheers, awe struck faces with jaws dropped to the ground and thundering hearts was the highlight of the night and a perfect way for songstress Mpho Sebina to close the 2017 round of Naked Soul Sessions. The cheery on top was her latest offering, NEO.
Three months ago, Sebina conceived NEO, an Extended Play (EP) that rocked the crowd at Thapong Thursday night. Sebina is founder of Naked Soul Sessions. It is a show that every first Thursday of the month gives local artist a platform to strut their stuff. The launch of her soulful NEO EP was a fitting curtain call at the end of 12 delightful powwows.
Thapong Visual Arts Centre is the proud host of the sessions which feature a different artist every month. Thapong and Naked Soul Sessions share the profits with the celebrated artist of the night. The event is made possible by Sunday Standard and Gabz FM who marvel at the growth of the show month after month.
Sebina does not normally start her projects with the hope to get rich. She sings for love and hopes to touch the souls of the people who listen to her. A soulful woman who says she wants to one day make her fans remember Sade and Bob Marley when she sings. It is quite an ambitious proposition until you hear her sing. She delivered her latest album accordingly. NEO is the kind of CD you would want to listen to on a long journey because it is so deep. It is so thought provoking, the only time you would probably welcome it is when you are starring at a mirage.
I had to ask her why A.T.I out of all the people that she could have featured in her EP. The only collaboration that she did in the EP was Chuele with A.T.I, a folklore tale of a grandmother who tries to convince her grandchild to relocate with her for a better life. She stubbornly decides to stay behind and face living in an inhabitable house with leaks from hell. But by then the grandmother is so far gone and can only remind her she told her so through the tale. She said to me “A.T.I and I are from different worlds right? Who would have ever thought? But I love him. I think he is extremely talented and if I had another chance I would feature him again. “
NEO being at the center of Sebina’s Naked Soul Sessions for December had more to it than met the eye. It turned out to be a love story between Sebina and her Producer Favi Motsemme. It was so obvious that the duo had been intertwined in some yesteryear fairy tale. They talked about it during the performance as a has-been relationship, but do women ever let go? “He has been the influence behind this beautiful production,” confessed Sebina. “Yes we were in love for a very long time but this woman is so talented and I’m glad that she channeled our love in the right direction, “said Motsemme.
Gwen Isaacs a fan of Sebina who was part of the crowd said the set was very emotional. ”It is something which music lovers crave. It normally takes a very talented artist to get my feet tapping and feelings sky rocketing at the same time. To close off the year it was very refreshing to attend Naked Soul Sessions. Mpho does this to us every time she performs. We hope to see a lot more of her in the coming years. We always crave original music and hope to hear much of her in future,” said Isaacs.