Powerful messages in music are key

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Powerful messages in music are key

  Paheja Siririka


Musicians should have powerful messages in their songs for them to last longer in the industry, legendary musician Peter ‘Capitol K’ Kayambe has said.

He was speaking to VIBEZ! right after performing for Rock the Boat (RTB), a music show filmed at the Samusitu Riverside Camp – a few kilometres west of Rundu. The event regularly features performances by Namibian artists, and can be accessed on the Ngandu TV YouTube channel.

“If your message is strong, that song will go far. The young ones must try to create music that would attract the elders and young people at the same time,” shared the ‘Mate Mate’ hitmaker. He said growing up in Grootfontein, he was the only Kavango among Khoekhoegowab-speaking people, and they used to listen to artists from Congo and other African countries singing in their mother tongue.

That motivated him to keep to his roots in terms of execution.

 “Why can’t we do it in our language so that people can also listen?” he questioned. 

With an impeccable 22-year existence in the music industry, Capitol K said the problem with Namibian music is that there is a tendency of copying already existing work. 

“Authenticity in music is important. 

We need to develop a Namibian sound when it comes to music, because what is mostly heard nowadays are replicas of previously done work.

 House music is sometimes copied from Kuduru sounds. They make their style out of that, and there is no originality there.”

He also mentioned that platforms like RTB are important in an industry like Namibia’s. 

“Rock The Boat ignited my passion and it was a perfect opportunity for me to, sort of, make a comeback, because people thought I was not in the industry anymore. I am passionate about music.” 

Capitol K recalled that RTB approached him in 2019 when the event took off, but it was around the time he suffered a stroke, which left him paralyzed for about six months.

“I couldn’t walk or talk. In 2020, we had Covid-19 and I couldn’t grace the stage. But this year, I decided to join the team. When the team put out the word that I would be performing, a lady called, crying and saying she thought I was dead.” The producer of the show for Ngandu TV, Michael Kayunde, told VIBEZ! that it was important for them to celebrate a music legend. “He is from the old school. Thus, a lot of his accomplishments on the music scene aren’t documented. On this episode, we allowed him to narrate his story. 

RTB is a platform for both established and emerging artists. He’s an established artist who deserves to grace our stage,” he added. Kayunde admitted that working with Capitol K was both challenging and rewarding at the same time. 

“Challenging in the sense that the episode comes with a lot of expectations from fans of Rock The Boat, as it is by popular demand. So, we had to go through intense rehearsal sessions to perfect the music. 

And rewarding because the Ngandu TV team working on this production grew up listening to Capitol K, so it was an honour for us to curate this episode for our unique platform,” he stated.

 Kayunde then urged artists who wish to perform on Rock the Boat to “put in the work. We have a set of criteria we look at, but artists have to earn it. Make sure you have a strong catalogue; maybe we might just consider you”.

The team is planning on releasing at least 10 episodes this year. – psiririka@nepc.com.na