After the passing of his close friend and business partner, South African rapper Jabulani “HHP” Tsambo, Seabelo Modibe had to reinvent himself. He now has a record company of his own through which he is negotiating for a partnership deal with one of the big international labels. Staff Writer GOSEGO MOTSUMI reports
After identifying a gap in the market that could probably take years to fill, music administrator and veteran promoter Seabelo Modibe embarked on a solo ambition of setting up a new record company. Styled Total Music Group, the company will ensure that local artists have proper management, publisher distributor to external markets.
“Setting up means our talented artists will no longer have to struggle to get external exposure and deals,” Modibe said in an interview. “This will be a record company with credibility because of my reputable track record as I have worked with great artists, including the legendary Hip Hop Pantsula, who was better known as HHP.”
Modibe says local artists mostly put out their music on Facebook and Whatsapp while others sit on their unreleased music and do not take advantage of digital platforms. With his company, he wants to change the status quo and points to the music industry in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa where artists reach foreign markets through major labels like Sony, Universal Studios and Warner, as a lesson and inspiration for Botswana.
“I am currently in advanced negotiations for my record company to partner with two of these major players,” he disclosed. “Very soon we will be concluding and will be ready to launch this project that also requires considerable financial injection and skills development for the young individuals that I’ll be working with.”
He says some of the many reasons local artists fail in the music business are individualism and lack of a clear strategy. “We will be making this all easier,” he told Time Out. “A record label pushing you locally is how artists succeed with these record labels. The job of a talented artist is to wake up, get into the studio, record a hit, get a team to monetise it and become a billionaire without a thing to worry about.”
According to Modibe, artists do not have to be signed to a record label to enjoy its offerings because they can aggregate content, license and do publishing on behalf of the artist. This is the man for whom 2021 will mark 20 years in the music industry whose signpost will be his game-changing record company by which he says he intends to take local music to greater heights.
“After HHP passed on, I needed to find my next move,” he explains. “The game had changed altogether but life had to go on. I had to reinvent myself and do something for the massive talent found in our country.”