It’s Personal with Gabi Motuba
Jazz Vocalist and Avant -Garde Classical Composer and arranger
Gabisile Motuba, popularly known as Gabi Motuba, is a 24 year old jazz vocalist born in Mamelodi Pretoria 1992. She studied at Tshwane University of Technology and completed her studies in 2013. She has performed with numerous young, prominent artists of South Africa e.g. Tumi Mogorosi, Malcolm Jiyane, Mthunzi Mvubu. (www.gabimotuba.com )
Project Elo 2013
In 2013, Gabi Motuba was featured as a singer/songwriter on the SAMA nominated jazz album Project Elo by renowned South African drummer, Tumi Mogorosi. The album was re-released under the London Based Record Label (Jazzman Records) in June 2014. Project Elo received world wide reviews which did wonders for the career of Gabi Motuba.
Sanctum Sanctorium 2016
In 2015, Gabi Motuba, recorded and released her first jazz duo album with Tumi Mogorosi (named Sanctum Sanctorium) while on a residency in Switzerland. This album was co-composed with SAMA nominated drummer, Tumi Mogorosi in late 2015 and released under the South African record Label (Makotopong Sound Studios). The album is a collaboration between Switzerland and South African musicians. Sanctum Sanctorium became a well-respected album due to the feature of world-renowned Swiss pianist, Malcolm Braff. This international feature made it possible for Gabi Motuba to have a tour of the album supported by the Swiss Council known as Prohelvetia. The tour was in Mauritius, Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa.
The Wretched 2017
Gabi Motuba is also part of a band called The Wretched. The band consists of the following musicians: Gabi Motuba on vocals and gadgets, Andrei Van Wyk on guitar, bass and sound-scaping and Tumi Mogorosi on improvised drums. The music is part of the conversations around ‘Sonic Letters’ and ‘Sonic Inscriptions’ which are being had by the following scholars: Ranguato,Tendayi Stole, Tumi Mogorosi. The discussion was formulated on the basis of how music contains/possess and locates messages, ideas, and knowledge systems which we can access and which helps us navigate our world today.
The Wretched is an electronic band which uses distortion sounds, existing texts and quotes to drive the music and to express he ideas around black liberation.
Tefiti (Goddess of Creation) 2018
Tefiti is a classical inspired album which is due for release in August 2018. The album, Tefiti, is made up of Vocals, a string quartet (Cello, double bass, violin1, violin 2) and Timpani. The album comprises of 10 original classical compositions by Gabi Motuba which she composed and arranged.
The main theme of this album is locating black narratives within music and particularly within classical music. The idea was to highlight religious and political epistemologies within the way these classical compositions were created. The music also presents the idea of using the voice quietly which also points to various narratives in black history ie, narratives around slavary, church music and missionary schools. The music points to conditions that had to have been presented in order for the voice to have been sung in a particular way.
Tefiti is the embodiment of the idea of re-imagination of the process of creation. Gabi gravitated towards making a classical album as a response to the stagnant idea of jazz and classical music as they are presented today. She is attempting to explore the boundaries of both classical and jazz music and therefore to push further the ideas revolving around these 2 genres.
The album also features Tumi Mogorosi on drums on the track titled Mother Earth and the album also features a poet by the name MoAfrika ‘a Mokgathi on the song entitled No Light without Darkness.
The music can be described as feminine possibilities to these heavily masculine genres. The compositions possess a sense of freeing vulnerability however possessing a very sharp and edgy attack at various points which provoke and entices the listener equally. The aesthetic created from the music is that of possibility with echoes of harmonious engagements and energies.
The 10 track album also features songs such as Remember Me (A requiem for an old friend), Interlude and No Light Without Darkness feat MoAfrika á Mokgathi.