Tsepo Tshola is an award winning jazz musician whose debut album “A New Dawn” received great critical acclaim and showcases the album as a statement of humbleness.
And what gorgeous fruit 'A New Dawn' is indeed! Just short of a dozen tracks, the album showcases Tshola’s always compelling, utterly unique voice in dazzling form throughout as well as a vivid musical vista that transverses Gospel to subtle afro-jazz moments, traditional music-soaked material, afrobeat tracks, funk-flowing repertoire and more, all coming together in one great package. Much of the album’s wonderfully intimate and personal feel lies in Tshola stretching his creative boundaries.
Album opener, “You Inspire Me" is a case in point, about Tshola’s new, fearless approach to making music. The song is about a girl who takes the best out of me. It’s a selfless, humble, unarrogant song and it’s great. Tshola readily admits that it’s ironic that now he’s clean and sober, a love song becomes part of his repertoire. “What it says to me is that I’ve got my feelings back, I know how to love. I’m in touch with myself and reality and it’s amazingly beautiful."
Of course, like any great Tsepo Tshola album 'A New Dawn' has its fair quota of uplifting, rousing Gospel songs, quite natural for the son of a preacher man. “Ntate" and “House of the Lord" are two excellent examples while tracks like “Indlala" (a Masekela-penned track about Africa’s lack of food and hunger) as well as “Shame" (about the shame of a society that does not do enough to prevent rape) return Tshola to the social commentary ground he is a master at.
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