Tuesday, January 18, 2022

US R&B sensation Kenny Lattimore to serenade Gaborone

“For you I’d give a lifetime of stability …Anything you want of me …Nothing is impossible… For you there are no words or ways to show my love… Or all the thoughts I’m thinking of…’Cause this life is no good alone…Since we’ve become one I’ve made a change…And everything I do now makes sense …All roads end,all I do is for you .”

Who can forget these serenading lyrics of Kenny Lattimore’s 1996 single ‘For You’ from his self-titled debut solo album.

It is undoubtedly one of the most memorable tunes of the 1990s together with other hits ‘Never Too Busy’ and ‘Just What it Takes’ from the same album. Another notable single,’All My tomorrows’ came from his follow up album, ‘Soul of Man’.

He became an instant hit with audiences around the world including here in Botswana. For young ladies, Lattimore also became a sex symbol. But the main focus was rightly more on his real talent; the music.

He has since released four more studio albums with the fifth expected this year. And almost two decades after first being mesmerized by his astounding melodies on radio and television, local fans can now, thanks to KgosietsileMariri and company, get to see the man perform live on stage.

“This show is meant for the mature and sophisticated audience who appreciate good music,” organiser, Mariri told Lifestyle. “It is a laid back event.”

Mariri says he wants to give Batswana the best show they have ever seen andhas no intention to leave anything to chance.

“Kenny (Lattimore) is coming with a live band,” he says, “and there won’t be any of lip-synching the local audience has become accustomed to.”

He says to prevent any disappointments about the quality of sound he has employed the services of a reputable South African company to provide a world class sound system.

But, why bring Kenny Lattimore? “Kenny is a good, clean artist with no bad reputation and his music is timeless. He fits perfectly with my target demography of people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. His music is relevant to the age groups,” Mariri says.

He says it is for the same reasons he invited local artists Shanti Lo and Samantha Mogwe, and South Africa’s Afro-Soul sensation Siphokazi.

“Their music fits well with the target audience. Shanti is an incredible performer. Samantha is a star in the making and sharing a stage with the likes of Kenny would do wonders for her blossoming career. Siphokazi, off course needs no introduction,” Mariri says.

Lifestyle also wanted to know why there seems to be a growing trend among local promoters to bring US artists from the 1990s and Mariri does not mince his words.

“Trending US artists are too expensive for our small market,” he says, “and as good or even better as artists from back-in-the day are; they come at a reasonable price.”

No individual promoter in this country, Mariri says, can afford to bring any of the currently trending US artists.

“Only corporations can do so, and without expecting to make profit,” he insists. He says Botswana’s market is unresponsive and lacks the sophistication to support such kind of events.

Mariri says Batswana’s propensity to wait until the last minute before purchasing tickets also presents a great challenge when organising an event of this magnitude.
“It makes it difficult to make advanced planning.”

Following the up-coming event Mariri hopes to spread his wings and search for opportunities in “bigger” markets abroad. “I want to advise young Batswana entrepreneurs to look outside the country for business opportunities because this nation is just not supportive of good business ideas.”
The Kenny Lattimore concert takes place at Boipuso Hall (Gaborone) on Saturday evening, July 26. Tickets for the event go for P1, 750 (VIP), P950 (Gold), and P700 (Silver). There will be incentives commensurate with every ticket price.

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