After two long years of keeping us in anticipation, the young Botswanan soul singer Mpho Sebina finally brings her debut mini album, “NEO”.
The first time we heard about Mpho Sebina was exactly two years ago, when she releaed her debut single “Loves Light”. We were delighted. But even at that time, she wasn’t a newcomer, with many years of experience of writing and performing, though mostly cover songs.
With another two years that have passed since then, it’s clear Mpho likes to take it slow, and to perfect the notes, the sounds, and the studio work. But her debut 5-track EP is finally here, demonstrating how mature, professional and incredibly captivating artist she has become.
The single “Black Butterfly” appeared a while before the release of the whole EP, and it’s a perfect starting point that’s on a par with the best neo-soul you could have heard in the recent years. Another outstanding moment comes with the guest featuring of Ati in the only non-English song, “Tjuele”.
However, it’s the composition called “Mokoro” that’s at the heart of this album. A slow-burning 7-minute epopee, it’s led by soft synths, abyssal bass and watery sounds. With each stomp, it draws you deeper and deeper into the dark world painted with Mpho Sebina’s vocals.
Of course, her debut album couldn’t happen without that first official single, the unforgettable “Loves Light”, produced by Favi Charles Motsemme. It was originally accompanied by a video directed by Shike Olsen who let us enjoy the beauty of Botswana’s landscapes as well as its people and Mpho herself.
After you check out these two songs, be sure to listen to “NEO” in its entirety, and you’ll keep coming back to Mpho’s singular voice for months.