[LISTEN] Jazz vocalist Gabisile Motuba on her inspiration and her 'baby album'

Young recording artist Gabisile Motuba is often described as a jazz vocalist, but she says she doesn't like to be categorised by genre.

The Johannesburg-based artist is driven, she says, by collaboration and the idea of the collective.

I began my career in varsity so I was privileged enough to share my space with really prominent jazz musicians... They really had a lot of influence regarding how I approached creating music and just the creative process of music.

Gabisile Motuba, Vocalist

I think I really have to pay homage to the people who influenced me a lot in the music choice that I gravitated towards, it's really a communal knowledge building system that I come from.

Gabisile Motuba, Vocalist

Today, the young people, we're a little bit limited regarding where the music comes from you know, where we access the music - like on radio and television - the spaces I was in, I mean we were going through records. We were listening to LPs, we were visiting each other it was really like a community and a friendship.

Gabisile Motuba, Vocalist

Her compositional process says Motuba, transcends genres.

I don't really focus on the notes and the genre... Really, I focus on the context of the music which is what I think makes jazz music so great, what makes a particular record so great, is that they kind of surpass their genre and tap into a more, like a deeper narrative.

Gabisile Motuba, Vocalist

Motuba is performing in Cape Town for the month of March, promoting her new album.

With this album, the sound I was trying to investigate is this idea of the collective, how can we build knowledge systems in a more communal setting... how the strings become such an incredible avenue for the vocals to work around.

Gabisile Motuba, Vocalist

Listen to more of the conversation and one of Motuba's tracks below:

Photograph courtesy: Gabisile Motuba, Facebook


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