Sheehama releases 7th album

This is how Ras Sheehama, a household name in the Namibian reggae music industry, described his new offering.

The Southern Times caught up with him to talk about his latest his seventh album, “Watch Over Us”. The 13-track album was released on Thursday at the Warehouse.

Sheehama sings about African joy of life and criticises the continent’s political and social situation of the past and the future. He is one artist who shaped Namibian reggae music.

“I sing about social evils in our societies and poverty. From an African perspective, poverty is not good for the continent. All the evil happenings in Africa, war, crime, hunger, corruption, diseases and all the suffering were born out of poverty. Mine is a universal message to unite and fight all these evils,” he said.

He described the album as “more of heavy roots reggae”.

He included the remix of one of his popular hit songs from his previous album, Nekwa Lyatshima.

“I felt that the sounds and mixing was not done right. I wanted to give it more of the international touch.”

Sheehama said the album is different from his other albums where he has worked as an individual. On the new album, he has worked with Jean Pierre of Callanami Productions in Rennet, France.

Namibia’s music industry has today reached a new trend. Young artists have taken over the industry, coming in with new music genres such as kwaito, kwiku, hip-hop and others.

Sheehama feels that this is good for the industry. “Competition is good, it is the only way we can grow and become competitive.” However, he thinks there is nothing left for him to prove as he became a household name a long time ago.

“What is left for me is to strive for international acclaim,” he said, adding that the reason he has been very quite on the local scene is that he has been busy in Europe trying to make distribution deals for his music.

“Currently Jeanne Pierre is promoting my music in Europe,” he said.

In March 2005, Ras launched his fifth album Pure Love followed quickly in June 2006 by his sixth album Traveling On, a blend of some of his most popular songs spanning two decades.

He has rubbed shoulders and shared the stage with big names in the reggae fraternity. At the end of May 1999, Ras Sheehama held his first show in Germany together with the late Lucky Dube’s band, The Slaves, at the African Festival in Wurzburg, Germany.

He has performed in Germany, the United Kingdom, Cuba, Portugal and Switzerland. He also opened the show for the legendary reggae act, Don Carlos, in Johannesburg in 2001 and for Manu Di Bango in 1995 in Windhoek.

Ras Sheehama won the Music Award Category for his song Inotela in 1996, which led him to perform at the Music Festival Le Printemps de Bourges Bourges in France. In 1997 he opened a show for Ismael Lo on the Reunion Islands.

August 2008
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