Elemotho - Beautiful World (ARC Music)

Gaalelekwe Mosimane Richardo aka Elemotho is a singer-songwriter from Namibia, a relatively young African nation that only gained its independence in 1990, after first being the German colony of German South-West Africa, and later becoming the South African mandate territory South-West Africa. Asked about his music, Elemotho comments: "I grew up with storytelling around the fire and that has inspired me to create something that could make you dance as well as listen, smile as well as cry, find peace as well as wisdom.". 'Beautiful World' opens with 'Ga Lo Itse ' ("we don't know"), a poem by Elemotho recited for the occasion by Naita Hishoono. In addition to his own songs, 'Beautiful World' also contains two Namibian traditionals: 'Sediegi', Setswana for: "don't get sidetracked!", a song that in Namibia is often heard at funerals, and 'Kuruman', a traditional in Namibia, as well as in Botswana and South Africa, warning for the dangers of a trip through the Kalahari. For that last song Elemotho joined forces with the Makgona Ngwao Cultural Group Choir and they gave 'Kuruman' a somewhat similar vibe to 'Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika', the nineteenth-century hymn by Enoch Sontonga, which in nineteen sixties and seventies grew into a pan-African liberation song and still is a part of the South African national anthem. Namibia may be one of the least populated nations in Africa, and may largely consist of deserts, but that doesn't mean the country has not evolved, as Elemotho proves in the jazzy 'Remember', in which he urges us to remember the pre Facebook and Twitter age and to get in touch with reality again. Now and again the Namibian reminded us somewhat of South African superstar Johnny Clegg, and that is nowhere more obvious than in 'Viva'. Elemotho likes to summarize 'Beautiful World' as: "... a soundtrack of hope, optimism, freedom and positivity in a world that is slowly leaning towards cynicism and negativity.". He may only have been talking about the title track; in our opinion this quote perfectly captures the spirit of this album: feel-good music from the South-Western point of Africa!


Added: Jun 19, 2017