• February 26th, 2020

Album Review: ‘Onjati’ by Karabo

  Paheja Siririka

WINDHOEK - The queen of disco. Ukarapo Ndjavera, also known as Karabo, has been in the music industry since 2012. Before that, she has been a dancer from the age of 17.

With five albums under her belt, the 28-year-old commercially released her fifth studio album titled ‘Onjati (Buffalo)’. On the CD cover, Karabo said it is all about her and being a woman. She said the artwork represents womanhood, especially with the combination of purple and pink. ‘Onjati’ is a 16-track album and put together with the work of notable producers 5670 and Mr Glo, Blenge from DLH Studio, DJ Dozza.  Karabo is unique being as far as her work is concerned. “I sing based on life experiences, I don’t write my songs, I sing off the cuff. What usually happens is I just perform the songs as I deem appropriate,” she detailed. 

On the ‘Onjati’ album, she starts with ‘True Love’ featuring producer 5670, which is the intro to the album. The track is 1:58 min long, which makes one question the relevance of the song. In the tune, she asks her lover what she has done to him. It seems when he is with his friends he does not see or notice her. To this, he (the lover) says she has broken his heart and his mind is overwhelmed with many thoughts. That is the gist of that track in terms of content.  Karabo has collaborated with Tate Buti on the second song titled ‘Kenena’. Just like parents who say they do not have a favourite child, Karabo admitted to loving ‘Kenena’. “This must be one of my favourite songs because it was my first time collaboration with Tate Buti and was produced by Mr Glo,” she admitted. 

The fourth song, which is the title track, starts with a sample from the People’s Choice 90s classic ‘Siwele Wele’ and then shifts quickly to another beat. The song is about farmers being tired of the buffalo. ‘Onjati’ is a Bantu word for buffalo, which is one of the big five. Regarding the animals, she is narrating the impact it has caused on farmers. The buffalo is the carrier of foot-and-mouth disease and here she is singing about the hardship farmers face because of the quarantine that is imposed and animals are restricted from sale, which means no more selling of animals until all the animals in that specific area are declared disease-free. Karabo is a vibrant artist when it comes to live performances as she can get the crowd into the mood of dancing but when it comes to the studio, there are a lot of elements lacking: voice control. In some songs, the voice is offbeat like track number six, ‘Feel The Rhythm’, which is a house jam leaning more towards electronic.  Entertainment Now! noticed plenty of keynotes and inconsistency with the flow of music and the voice.  As much as we are seeing growth, there are certain things that artists should master and not make a habit of repeating  the voice is important and needs polishing. 

Entertainment Now! is disappointed with a lot of random out of tune sampling and rates this album a 4/10 with credit going partially to the beats and certain content but further encourages Karabo to perfect the flow of her singing and properly infuse it into the beat. As it sounds right now, it is like she is fighting with the songs. 

Staff Reporter
2019-08-16 09:28:07 | 6 months ago

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