‘My music is about creating a sense of belonging for people at the margins of what society deems beautiful or acceptable or important. If doubling down for the people who most need a voice makes those with the loudest voices uncomfortable, then that’s their problem.’
Cape Town-based wordsmith Motheo Moleko has found a way to speak the minds of the many people of colour who have braved their streets day after day and never felt that they belonged.
His debut solo, Ruse is an ingenious, introspective conversation confronting issues such as privilege, appropriation, black-facing and belonging; those issues that have come to light in campus protests and public marches the world over, and yet are still ill-received by those averse to change.
‘How come you never see us brown babies make it?’ Is the question on his lips, and with every ‘maybe’ we hear the uncertainty settling over beautifully apt and restless percussion, dream-like guitars and keys and rousing horns carrying the mood from one of despair and frustration toward a feeling of hope and harmony, emulating the state of flux we now find ourselves in.
As long as we have today’s contemporary protest music in our Kendricks, our Akuas, and now our Motheos, we will be reminded that we are not alone
The microaggressions that societies fling at each other will always find new ways to camouflage themselves in the backdrops of our cities and psyches, but as long as we have today’s contemporary protest music in our Kendricks, our Akuas, and now our Motheos, we will be reminded that we are not alone. We might just one day make it… at least to a place of understanding.
Follow him on Twitter @motheomoleko