She is the refined voice from southern Africa by way of Botswana, her sound is different, rich and bespoke, she voices authentic sounds that blend traces of hip-hop, soul, jazz, traditional and folk sounds. Mpho Sebina’s music which she describes as ethereal soul would be well appreciated, we dare say, by true music devotees with unique taste buds as it were.
The singer, songwriter has one EP to her name dubbed NEO, the compilation bears lucid, contemplative, heartfelt odysseys that echo her inspirations with easy on the ears but at times may lack words to describe, her musical experiences have seen her find her sacred place, the lover of life, love and beauty says she writes to people’s deepest expressions and in her words wants to ‘spread peace and love to the world’.
We caught up with the free-spirited soul-ja, in this interview, she speaks of her musical roots, inspirations, her work, future plans, growing young careers and her reflective sense on life.
Mpho Sebina, Photo Credit: Tebogo Cranwell
Afroway: Hey thanks for making time for us. So tell us a little about, Mpho Sebina?
Mpho: Mpho Sebina is a lover life and all things beautiful which is why she is drawn to the arts and more especially Music!! She is a proud African who dreams of exploring the continent through music and discovering its delicious foods and cultures! She is also a believer in love and that love shall save the world. I don’t know why I spoke in the third person :)
Afroway: Tell us about your music journey and what got you into this world of endless creativity?
Mpho: Music was introduced to me by various family members, from Bob Marley to Mariah Carey it was a beautiful escape and wonderful place for me. It is a sacred space for me and the ones I hold dear, my friends and family! My love for music lead me to my love for singing! I later in my university years dabbled in the world of writing and studio recording with friends. I heard a song “Tselane” by the BLK JKS which inspired me to write my first original single “Loves Light” I then met a Charles “Favi” Motsemme, an incredible artist, producer, writer, vocalist, who had a vision aligned with mine to make beautiful music. We created Neo and now I’m here.
Afroway: Your music got some amazing vibes in it, makes one wonder what inspires you as an artist?
Mpho: I'm a lover of life and love and beauty. That’s what inspire me the most. I also understand that life can be tough and cold at times and I like to write music that speaks to getting myself and other people out of that state. This is where I’m at currently. I just wanna spread peace and love to the world!
Afroway: Your music always has one in a certain trance, you deliberately put the audience in that specific mood for them to feed on your music, how is your songwriting process like?
Mpho: My writing is usually inspired by beautiful music. Most of the music from me is inspired by music that I’ve heard which then summons up an emotion or feeling within myself and then I write on that.
Afroway: How much do you put into your music’s production, are you a hands on kind of person or just let the team work their creativity?
Mpho: It’s really important for me to work with people who I have great synergy with because it’s a two way process. It has to feel right for both parties. I hope I’ve answered this question. lol
Afroway: How do you personally define your music?
Mpho: Ethereal Soul.
Afroway: Do you ever feel like you would want to do something totally different when it comes to genre?
Mpho: Yes I’m experimental I’d love to dabble in other genres; Reggae, Hip Hop, Jazz all the sounds that I love!
Afroway: Tell us about the creation of the amazing Neo EP what inspired this project? Break this down for us…
Mpho: I met an amazing producer and we had this amazing synergy in studio. We worked on a couple of recordings together and decided to package together an EP that encapsulates who Mpho Sebina is an artist. Very soulful, very mellow, Setswana elements, positive energies with a hint of nostalgic elements that made my upbringing.
Afroway: Who did you work with on the EP and how much did they build you up as an artist?
Mpho: I worked with Favi throughout the majority of the project and he helped me really tap into my soul and dig deep in terms of what I wanted to say with his lovely melodies! It was a beautiful experience finding my voice and my sound I also worked with Thabo “Gram Pa” Letsatle on “Black Butterfly” which was a great experience of pure sheer fun! He helped me discover that side of myself musically!
Afroway: You recently released audio-visuals for ‘No Evil’? What was the creative process like?
Mpho: WOW! I shot that almost two years ago and it went through a lot of edits. It was shot in Botswana by a talented global battle MC friend of mine Sandlie “Blain” Ndlangamandla, then it went from him editing to my uncle editing it. I later had a conversation with an international blogger friend of mine “Tanlume Enyatseng” who helped me simplify it into what it is today! Finally got edited in South Africa by internationally acclaimed “Call Back Dreams” who are the master minds behind Manifests “Simple Love and “Me Ne Woa”.
Afroway: As an artist you are definitely working on new projects, what should we expect?
Mpho: More music and more collaborations, hopefully international ones too!
Afroway: What is your take on the Botswana music industry? Is it working? Any improvements that you would identify with?
Mpho: Botswana Music Scene is growing in leaps and bounds and reaching amazing spaces such as this one! It’s a beautiful time for African Musicians.
Afroway: What else are you involved in aside from music?
Mpho: Just music currently, and event-ing! I founded a music event that happens monthly in Botswana featuring local artists. An intimate space where we appreciate local talent across all genres but live and acoustic. Called “Naked Soul Sessions”. I do love food though, and traveling, yoga and all things art.
Afroway: As an artist how much are you putting in to become an African Influencer?
Mpho: I’m just being the best version of myself that I could possibly be.