Johannesburg >> Maputo & Harare
South African drummer, vocalist and music producer Tshepang Ramoba is embarking on a cross-border collaborative music project titled Naka La Mosepidi (Horn of the Traveler) from 25 April to 5 may 2020. Focusing on intercultural musical learning and collaboration, Tshepang will exchange, compose, performance and record new material with musicians in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, and document the musical conversations and journey.
This project follows on from Tshepang’s solo EP Sešate Manifested, in which he delved deeply into baPedi culture, ceremony and music tradition. Tshepang explains the evolution of this current project: “After releasing my solo EP Sešate, which is a project where I had to do a lot of research on where I come from and learning the culture and language, I had to take it further by learning other cultures of Africa.” The recent incidents of xenophobia in South Africa informed Tshepang’s decision to focus on Mozambique and Zimbabwe for this project. “I think learning each other’s cultures brings us closer to each other and it makes us realise how diverse cultures are and at the same time very similar,” he explains.
The journey will begin in Mozambique. Tshepang will travel with his band and camera crew and set up a residency outside Maputo to collaborate with local musician and host Matchume Zango. “We will learn about the rhythms they play in Mozambique and the use of language,” Tshepang explains. “We will also visit the rural area which I think will spark inspiration and give insight to the origins of Matchume’s music.” Following this, Tshepang and his band together with Matchume will compose and record three tracks and then perform the songs together on the last night.
The project then moves to Zimbabwe to repeat the same format with local Harare-based musician Netsayi Chigwendere. Tshepang says that in Harare “we’ll learn a lot about Mbira playing and rhythms like “Jerusalema” and Chimorenga.”
The project concludes in South Africa where Tshepand will mix and master the recordings in his own studio. The Naka la Mosepedi 6-track EP will be digitally released worldwide.