He is the Executive Producer of the popular local talent show My Star, a reggae maestro and a music producer. Born in Mmankgodi, Keabetswe Sesinyi, popularly knows as Master Dee in the music circles, has braced himself to overcome challenges that many could not face in order to do what he believes is the best for music aspirants. Kgomotso Tshwenyego sat down with him to find out more about him.
THE BRAINS BEHIND MY STAR
Have you always wanted to be a singer?
Although I wasn’t born in a musical family, I have always wanted to be a singer. It is when I realised that local radio stations were giving a lot of foreign artists airplay that I decided to move into music development and it is then that I started pushing the likes of Phempheretlhe, Stiga Sola and Africa sounds. Stiga Sola’s song Mamelodi won an FNB Award in 1998/99.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to be a music producer?
Hard work is very important when you are involved in the music industry. One also needs to have the technical know-how to learn a lot about music production. There is so much one needs to know, copyright elements, intellectual property rights, plagiarism
Who is the one artist that you will always remember?
Although I never got to work with him, I will have to name the late Duncan Senyatso. I envied him, he was such a brilliant musician who understood the pros and cons of the industry. He was such a marvel to listen to and watch especially his guitar skills. It wasn’t a mistake when the won the SADC song.
Any local artist that you would love to collaborate with?
Around here NO!
Why? Are you smarter than other artists in Botswana?
Look, we’re still infants when it comes to music and the problem with local artists is that everyone thinks they are the best. I work and click better with down to earth people.
And who would those people be?
Take for instance, people that I would really love to work with are the likes of Puff Daddy, Quincy Jones and Lionel Ritchie.
Those are really big names they may not even know you exist.
You see when I talk about those multimillionnares, I talk about people that really understand music, who understand this industry, who’s productions always signify their best.
And would you say your album, which is the only one we know of, signifies your best?
You see I am the first non-Kalanga to sing in Kalanga. That is a sign of originality and creativeness as well as appreciation of other languages. Ntolontolo is actually a song about what people used to do and what they
would play in the olden days. Music is a market and we need to always have a new structure diverting from what we are known to be to something totally different. Music changes with time.
And what is your best song in this album?
It’s a song called One Day. It talks about the future, my future, that one day I will make it. I wrote it at a time when things weren’t working well for me and the song gave me drive to carry on and I must say they have.
And would you say My Star is one of those things?
Yes. One of the things that I have always wanted to do is impart the knowledge that I have in music with other artists. My star is a platform for aspiring musicians to use in order to discover, showcase and nurture their talent.
And you believe you achieving that?
Since the show started in 2007, we have discovered seven artists and they all have an album to their name. That in my view is making an artist’s dream come true and help them discover what they have and are meant to be.
Talking of albums, why are your winners only producing one album, are we likely to see their second?
All of these artists or rather say Stars that we discovered, are all at school at the moment. They are still continuing to learn as far as music is concerned, they are equipping themselves with skills they need to progress and excel in their dreams. Once they are ready, after completion of their studies, it is entirely up to them to decide whether they stay or be independent.
Mine is to search for them, pave a way and let them journey through. Some viewers complain that your show has too many gays in it.
Are there gays in my show? Who are they?
Do you have gay contestants?
My Star is a talent search programme, we search for talent not people’s sexual orientation. You see in my show, we look for talent and we don’t care whether someone is gay or lesbian, if they have talent and we believe that they should be part of the show, we give them that opportunity.
I don’t even know why that should bother people really. I never asked anyone if they are gay or not and I don’t think it is necessary that I ask, and that to be honest is at the discretion of an individual to disclose.
Still on my star, the show doesn’t look like its growing, when are we going to see a change?
Change on what?
A facelift. Don’t you think it has to look different given the number of years it has been running?
It would be nice to have a facelift but finance has over time proved to be a limitation. To set up a show one needs a lot of money and this is something that I don’t have. The show is great. You know, my programme is the best and I don’t believe there is anyone who can make such a great show.
What can we expect from my star in the near future?
Great things are yet to come. The one thing that I want people to know is that this show will prove to all the sceptics that they have been wrong. I am yet to produce the best this country can offer.
Why are you not on facebook?
(Laughs) Facebook, what is that, I have heard people talking about that thing but don’t don’t know what it is and besides I don’t have time for those things.
Your last words?
I would like to urge people to use My Star as a platform to advertise their products.
Names: Keabetswe Sesinyi
Date of Birth: 01 January
Place of Birth: Mmankgodi
Favorite food: Morogo le phaleche
No. of Children: 1 girl (21yrs) and a boy (4 yrs)
Car driving: Megane