My name is Karabo Kabelo Tlhabiwe, aged 37. I am the National Sales Manager at Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL), AB Inbev. My home town is Selebi Phikwe better known as Phikzana, though my home village is Moshupa.
DJ LEXY J: I’d like to know your relationship with music, when did the love begin? How far back can you remember?
TLHABIWE: My relationship with music started as far back as 1984. Music captivated my soul. I remember at the Phikwe Co-operation shop (Co-op) when I heard Michael Jackson back to back with George Michael, songs “Bad” and “Faith” respectively while in the shop. The isles were empty and the urge was uncontrollable as I started dancing my heart out to the beat. I had seen the videos on television and this only made it very clear for me to mimic what I had seen never mind singing at the top of my lungs, fumbling to the beats I did not know. My eyes were closed and I was in the zone as the music wound down to a full stop I opened my eyes and I realised that I had almost forgotten that I came to the shops with my parents. What really shook me was that it seemed the whole shop and the teller were all staring at me with smiles on their faces and cheering me on. This probably was my first standing ovation of some sort. In my head I envisioned stardom within the confines of a small mining town called Selibe-Phikwe.
DJ LEXY J: What kind of music do you love and how often do you indulge yourself?
TLHABIWE: All genres. I indulge myself at any opportunity I get in i.e.; in my car, at work and most importantly when the spirit needs lifting. I need music every single day of my life.
DJ LEXY J: How has music influenced your life over the years?
TLHABIWE: Music is my remedy for the noise that comes with life. Every time I listen to various genres of music, I get a sense of peace that engulfs my being. A lot of the time it’s unnecessary to even play anything. At times I wake up with a song in my heart and you better believe that I will hum it and later on start singing during traffic. The same way I switch on a track on my pod means I can change the way I can look at life without any dependency on the circumstance but rather, changing the track, perspective. Music is like my favourite colour, blue, it makes me to relax ,be still or join in on the fun and step back out of the concrete jungle and escape into my imagination.
DJ LEXY J: Does the music you listen to now differ from what you listened to growing up?
TLHABIWE: I listen to so many various genres of music. Instead of naming them, please allow me to list them chronologically according to the different stages of my life. At the ages of five and six Pop music, especially George Michael, at age sevenish at primary, Kopano School rap did it for me the likes of Mc Hammer & Vanilla Ice. When I turned 10 Dire Straits – Money here for nothing thanks to my much older cousin was the song for me. Age eleven fell in love with the likes of Don Williams, Brenda, Yvonne and Clarence Carter courtesy of my Mum & Dad (Mogorosi & Virginia Tlhabiwe) they would strut in a dance across the sitting room before going out for dinner. During my early teens John Secada – Just another day without you. Tupac – Dear Mama, Biggie (Notorious BIG) – One More Chance and KCI & Jojo – All my Life were my mid teen anthems. I would like to highlight that during this very confusing period I would dub songs and create albums on a tape side A which would be called cook books (slow songs) and side B would be rap R&B and other genres that captivated my mind then. With a very musically inclined family I would have all the tools to record music over my dad’s old tapes. This got me into major trouble for dubbing over my dad’s songs. With the absence of I-Tunes, Deezer and other platforms I would pride myself with recording Studio Mix hosted by Bob Mabena and Melanie Son every Friday evening. I would carefully press the cue to record and would capture the starting point of the song and fade up in order to make the sound deliberate and real. When the Studio Mix sting started I would fade out in order to hide the identity of the programme to avoid the music that is not associated with the song.
In 1997 at the age of eighteen , doing my Tirelo Sechaba I got exposed to various musical genres through my then employer Ministry of Local Gov’t lands and Housing through my colleagues. On the flip side after hours I worked at Bull and Bush and ooh, did I get exposed to different genres such as Country music, Blues, Soul, Jazz, Rap, R&B, Techno, Garage and Electro. Since the age of eighteen the journey has had many tips and turns and along the way I morphed and changed the music I listen to and now have found appreciation of different genres. During my University years in Oklahoma, USA I took on a challenge whilst doing my second year becoming the resident DJ for Embassy Suits Hotel. I would marvel at the new selection of funky music like Rick James, James Brown, Earth Wind and Fire, Van Morrison, Commodores, The Eagles. The list is endless and surely this got me to understand and appreciate that for me music is medicine for my soul. Years later I became the producer for a special adhoc events and more importantly I became the producer on Botswana Television for Entertainment programmes like Flavour Dome, Diacha, Melodi ya Kgalaletso to just name a few. I met many VJ’s that exposed me to very interesting music genres and styles. One of the proudest moments was when I viewed a programme on an unnamed music channel and the line-up was made of songs that I had selected for one of the music shows at BTV just a month back.
DJ LEXY J: Can you think of any particular music/song that you associate a memory, mood, or place with?
TLHABIWE: Mary J Blige – Everything. As my girlfriend became my wife some years back she walked down the aisle as this song was playing, I was touched as this beautiful person wanted to start this new chapter in our lives as my wife. The walk down the aisle was so captivating and the song was, “You are everything and everything is you…” You know the words that follow you ,DJ Lexy J, honoured my day as you catered to my taste playing my wedding cook book at Notwane gardens on my wedding day.
DJ LEXY J: What is your all-time favourite song(s)?
THABIWE: Tupac – Me against the world; Dru Hill – April Showers; Blackstreet – Before I let you go; Michael Jackson – The way you make me feel; Taylor Swift – Everything has changed; Daft Punk – Around the world; Puff Daddy and Family – Mo money mo problems; Joe Nina – Summer Get Down; New Edition – I’m still in love with you; and Boyz 2 Men – Motownphilly (Remix Edition).
DJ LEXY J: Who is your all-time favourite Artist, and why?
TLHABIWE: Brian McKnight. Brian would soothe my soul as his music video “back at one” is very captivating and interesting in the manner which it is shot, got me involved in the idea of pursuing broadcasting and television as a degree path.
DJ LEXY J: What’s on your playlist and how do you choose the music that goes onto it?
TLHABIWE: Chongie’s mix. That is my wife, she knows the playlist. It looks a little like: Malaika, Cuolo, Lovey, Everything, Angel – Sarah McLachlan; The man I need to be, DJ Ganyani ft. Busiswa – Xigubu
DJ LEXY J: So long, have yourself a super duper day!!
TLHABIWE: Nice one; thank you for engaging me DJ Lexy J