Up close with Jonathan Butler

“I want to share my knowledge on the music industry and see what I can help local artists with”- Jonathan Butler

Lame Bogatsu

Singer, composer and songwriter Jonathan Butler has been able to cement himself as one of greatest jazz fusion legends of our time. His music can be traced as far back as the 80s and over the years he has managed to stay relevant each year producing music that is worth Grammy nominations. Following his performance this past weekend at the Molapo Piazza as the main act of the Gaborone International Music show Jazz night, Time Out meet up with him to find out about plans he has for workshoping local artists this week.
“I am really looking forward to the workshop because I want to share my knowledge on the music industry. And more than anything I want to see what I can help local artists with in terms of the industry,” he said. In a time when there is a lot of upcoming musicians from all genres, music education must be emphasised- he added: “What will separate a great musician from just an ordinary musician is how much they know about their craft and how to grow in it. It is very important to understand music and be aware that the music industry is a business and needs to be treated as such. Musicians need to understand that they are their own CEOs and they need to act like it. This is one of the things that I only realised when I was much older that I am my own CEOs and need to act like it. Those are some of the things I want to share with local artists here,” he emphasised.
Butler said while he is an already established brand, he was not interested in selling himself any further to Batswana, but rather to identify artists he can help grow their own brands. “When I come to Botswana I am not coming here to sell my brand, I am here to learn from Batswana and sell Botswana to the rest of the world because I understand I have already accomplished many things and therefore it is time for me to help others get recognition in the international stage. We need to help grow each other as Africans to the rest of the world,” he said.
Things you may not know about Jonathan Butler
He loves cooking, travelling and learning new things.
He has three daughters and one adopted son from Cape Town.
Butler’s advice to artists: “Be a student and lover of music. Learn about other musicians and really live it, that’s how you learn. And always try and reinvent yourself.”