Themed a celebration of life and music, The Village Pope will enthral his multigenerational audiences with a performance that will be served by Tshola, his two sons, Kamo and Katlego, and a 13-piece band at the Lyric Theatre on April 7.
Speaking to IOL from his rehearsals in his home Lesotho, Tshola said he’d decided on the theme to acknowledge all the good in his life up to this point in his career.
“I’m with my children, who life has given me joy in having them, and I’m living with music. I grew up in a family of singers,. My mother and father got married on stage. I’m a product of that, and now I have these two boys who have amazing talents. So I would like to celebrate music and life with my sons,” Tshola said.
While he was happy to perform with his children, Tshola said that while he’d known his sons were talented, as a parent he had different dreams for them.
“I’d known for quite some time that they were talented, but as a parent, you want them to concentrate more on school than music, before they get to make their own choices about what career path they want to follow.
“I’ve realised now that they are big boys, who are amazing in song, so I thought I might as well take them and see what happens. But the rehearsals are going amazingly well,” he said.
Tshola added that having his sons on stage is also a part of working towards a legacy of good music - and even better live performances, which is something that has become closely associated with his four-decade-long presence in the music industry.
One of the things that have possibly contributed to Tshola’s lifetime of work is his dedication to working with artists from across the age and genre divide. It’s possibly one of the defining features of why his music, and that of the bands he fronted, like Sankomota, have such a broad appeal.
“I’m passing it on to the kids. It’s also the meeting of different genres. My younger son is more interested in hip hop, while the older one is more versatile, so it’s a wide range of music. It’s magical,” he said.
An example of this is the recent collaboration he had with Cassper Nyovest where he featured on the song Superman. That was the meeting across genres and age gaps of two big South African artists. And the success of the song proved that the sound that’s produced there attracts different audiences.
“I give my all into my music, my performances, and I’d like to believe that’s what attracts the young and the old. I don’t know if this will be perceived as arrogance but I also believe I’m genre-free. My collaborations with young people also date back to working with Brenda Fassie, Thebe, and a whole lot of genres. It’s something that has also been fascinating to me,” he said.
When quizzed on whether he thought these kinds of collaborations would be the ideal way to keep the music going, and bridging the gaps in music between the younger and older generations of musicians, he said: “I wouldn’t say because I’m not a master of bridging gaps, but then again I think what I’ve done has inspired a lot of people. I get calls from youngsters who’ll say hey, maybe Ntate Tshola should come and give it something,” he said with a chuckle.
In a career spanning as many spaces and years, Tshola said his biggest lessons about himself and his music has been the value of love, dedication and commitment to your craft.
“I just do things very bluntly, following my instinct and my feel,” he said.
With regards to releasing new music over the next year, Tshola said he was working on a project that would be a balance to the sounds we heard from him as a solo artist and as part of Sankomota. He shied away from revealing an exact date, but said the music would be released within the year.
Of his show this week, Tshola said fans could expect to experience the best of him.
“They are going to see the best of me and I think as you grow, you become more passionate and involved with your music, so that’s what they can expect.”
The show is part of the now bi-monthly Live at the Lyric concert series and will be on April 7, at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City.
Tickets are on sale now from Computicket.