THELMA BWALYA, Lusaka
THE feel of Naitopela, Gentelemani and Chilumendo may not be experienced ever again, but there may be just something close to that with
Shatel (Saboi Imboela and Barbara Njovu) now planning on releasing single before the end of the year and a possibly an album thereafter.
But the thing is that Shatel’s fans have heard this before.
“Many times we’ve been saying we’ll do an album but we haven’t done it and we’ve never come out to the public to say this is what we’re doing so this year, we owe it to our people to keep our word. Before the end of the year, it is one thing we can promise that we’ll do a single for them,” Saboi says.
Shatel recently featured on a song titled Peace that also has several artistes on it including Ephraim, Suwilanji, Mampi, Macky II and Dalisoul among others. The song was released last week and talks about peace and unity. It encourages the nation to stand together and to remember that it is love that unites it.
“We’re still working on our album which is not yet ready, we’re just putting up ideas. We are actually thinking of doing something within the previous albums that we did, like ‘The Best of…’ before the proper album is out,” Barbara says.
Make no mistake though, they know what they are doing.
“For an album, the biggest work is behind, it’s not really the recording. It’s how you put the modalities in place in terms of who will feature in what song, that’s the stage we’re at. We’re looking at what we’re going to talk about after such a long time. The other thing we’re looking at is if it’s going to be a secular or gospel album,” Saboi says.
Shatel, with two albums under their name Chikondi and Unbreakable, have been in the music industry for close to two decades, and have noticed a few changes.
“For me, l can say it’s a double edged sword, there’s a lot of development that has happened. Back then, CDs were being sold for K50 but now you can find a CD at K20, so it’s like going backwards instead of going forward,” Saboi says.
“But in terms of how many musicians are there, [and] how much music is coming out, I think now there’s a lot more.”
Barbara also has her own take.
“I think the time we started doing our music, there was a lot of thinking, putting things on paper before doing anything,” she says.
“But now I think there’s a lot of joking around, the music is nice but if I had to rate it, I think it’s like bubble gum music where it plays; it’s very nice but it won’t last because people would have already forgotten about you, and are thinking about the next artiste.”
Shatel rode on Mondo Music, and the absence of a record label in that regard has obviously made things a little different if not challenging.
“We don’t have record labels in Zambia. A record label is one that identifies talent and they are the ones who support and promote that talent. We need people with money to invest in the artistes so that the artiste at the end of the day will bring in a lot,” Saboi says.
“We need serious record labels in the country because what we have now are studios pretending to be record labels, the actual things that record labels do they don’t do.
“In other countries, record labels will go as far as giving an artiste a car, house, they’ll set you up. So what we should have had with all this music coming out are fully fledged record labels.”