If you’re reading this on Thursday, then you’re probably in the mood for a throwback. Let’s just say nothing will give you more Nostalgia than listening to a Tbose Touch of Soul compilation and this week we had the pleasure of attending the launch of the Kaya FM presenter’s FIFTH edition of his soultastic (I just made that word up but you probably understand what it means) series.
Thabo Mokwele, who we know as Tbose and whose voice greets Kaya listeners every morning, has been on a mission to deliver some of the finest hidden gems in the world of soul and R&B music and after an incredible first four attempts, he returned with his fifth offering this week and it was interestingly themed: The Last CD On Earth.
After listening to the album (and immediately envisioning sore knees and Cobra floor polish - but let’s save that for Sunday) we had the chance to sit down and have a conversation with the DJ and selector over what inspired him to return with not only a fifth edition of his incredible series, but to do so on CD specifically.
We began by asking how the inspiration for Touch Of Soul 5 came together and he was more than candid in revealing his trade secrets:
“We picked songs that were personal favourites and also songs that I knew would add to the widening of people’s tastes if I can say that. Sometimes we are incredible limited in how we listen to songs. Sometimes we focus on one single when there’s actually a lot that we could be consuming! So this compilation goes beyond the single, there are a lot of songs that have the potential to be your favourite - they just weren’t always on radio.”
So these days when someone releases an album, it’s shared on Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube (and Fakaza - I see you pirates!) in other words - online is the name of the game when it comes to music distribution. But Tbose explained that he’s taking a slightly different route:
“For now, the physical copies are the ones I’m pushing. Musica is my retail partner and you can buy the Last CD On Earth there. Kaya FM, who now have an ecommerce platform, will also be stocking the record. The beautiful thing is that you get to own it, once you pick it up it’s yours forever.”
But will we get to stream the record at some point? (My phone can’t play CDs bra…)
“The digital part may take a bit longer because we’re still negotiating and sadly it might not even be every song.”
It’s clear that the DJ still has a fond love for physical copies and he revealed that he wasn’t ready to let go of his CD collection just yet. Although he did admit that members of the new generation might not connect with the medium as much as he/we did growing up:
“I have a MASSIVE collection of CDs but even my kids don’t know what CDs are! At least thankfully they can kind of understand how they work because of their playstation!”
At this point we had to quickly interject - how on Earth does he keep his CDs scratch free?
“Well what I do is I immediately burn them onto my computer and then I listen on my iTunes or on my PC. But back in the day if the CD got scratched, I would just go and pick up another one really - or clean it!”
Back to Touch of Soul 5; we ended our conversation by asking the very real question of what would represent success to him.
“Sales!” He replied. Um, okay, how many sales?
“Gold! Which is 20,000 units. Let’s get a gold! I speak to 900,000 people every day, I’m just asking for 2% of those people to buy a CD at an affordable price (R120) come on guys! We can do this. So yes, Gold would represent success for this record.”
Tbose ended off by paying ZAlebs a hearty compliment; something we’re not used to from celebs!
“I just want to say a special message to ZAlebs, for being great players in this entertainment industry and striving for the truth at all times, even if there’s sometimes a bit of sleeze. When you write the good, you write it well, and when you write the bad, you write it fairly. Please keep that up”
We'll keep it up Tbose, if you promise to keep giving us great soul compilations!