Ahead of Boddhi Satva’s up-coming album release Transition, TRUE Africa hosted an exclusive live-stream broadcast with the DJ and producer. Musicians Kaysha, Teedra Moses, Omar Lye Fook and Nelson Freitas joined us for the conversation on the four singles they co-created with Boddhi.
As Transition is out tomorrow, we talked to Boddhi about how the singles came about. He also told us which are his favourite tracks from the other artists’ back catalogue. Scroll down and you can also have an exclusive listen to track Satisfaction.
What brought on the creation of Transition? Was it a long process to get it to completion?
I started working on Transition in December 2012. I’d just returned home to the Central African Republic (CAR) and I was really taking my time with it. I had started on two songs and just letting inspiration come to me. I was also looking to establish a business and label in Bangui, but sadly I couldn’t do so because of the situation there.
The process of completion got accelerated when my father was diagnosed with a severe form of bone marrow cancer in December 2013. At the time, I was literally going between the hospital to see him and my portable home studio. On January 27, 2014 he passed away, right before my eyes at the Salpêtrière hospital in Paris. I couldn’t do anything about it and I felt helpless. From that point on I refused to let my pain and anger take control of my existence and I decided to do what I do best: music. Transition was literally completed in the space of the following 10 months.
How did your collaboration with Omar come about? What about him as an artist drew you to him?
Omar and I got introduced to one another by a mutual friend and super talented producer called Simbad. Omar is clearly a legend. I still remember being in Bria (in eastern CAR) watching a TV show called Taratata and there he was performing with Stevie Wonder. Bear in mind my father was a huge fan of Stevie so, long story short, I was touched instantly.
Omar is by far one of the most down-to-earth artists that I’ve crossed paths with.
When I finally got to speak with him via email, I was star-struck at first and amazed at how humble the brother was. Omar has so many accomplishments and is by far one of the most down-to-earth artists that I’ve crossed paths and built a friendship with. I love his song Fallin’. It just gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. I knew then that one day I’d work with him.
You’ve been a long-time fan of Teedra. Can you tell us about her music and what she brought to the track Skin Diver?
Teedra Moses is what we call an ‘Alpha Woman’. I’ve felt connected to her in many ways: through her music, lyrics and the way she embraces her experiences in life. She has the capacity to let her lyrics touch you deeply without having to be rude or use curse words.
Teedra brings so much sexiness and sensuality to Skin Diver. I think we have a instant classic here.
The song Be Your Girl is just the epitome of sexiness to me. The lyrics, her voice, the music. Yeah, I just fell in love instantly. We met at the Miami Winter Music Conference in 2010 (WMC) and clicked right away.
It was clear that her presence on Transition was another perfect addition to this tribute to my father. She brings so much sexiness and sensuality to Skin Diver and the title clearly exudes that. I think we have a instant classic here and I’m extremely proud she included it on Cognac & Conversation, her sophomore album that came out on August 7.
We’ve been working on this song for three years. She really wanted to bring the best vibe and feeling to it and I even changed it a lot from the initial demo version I’d sent to her. I believe the result is very reflective of both our identities.
What about your collaboration with Kaysha?
Kaysha and I, we go way back. Back to the days of Myspace when I’d been a fan of his since Bounce Baby was released in ‘98. It was very clear for both of us when we finally got to meet, direct and build a friendship that we had to work together. Kaysha is a genius when it comes to catchy melodies, and the song Motema is just another testimony of his skills.
I’m all about bringing freshness to what I do to enhance my music with different vibrations.
Mama Kosa came about after a late-night talk, where we agreed if we came together on a song it had to be something never done before, something futuristic but still rooted and connected to the continent and the rest of the world. Kaysha is singing in Lingala, a Bantu language spoken in Congo. Definitely one of those very organic, musical births.
And the connection with Nelson Freitas?
We actually became friends. I played at his wedding last month! Creating My Heart was fun.
There’s such a range of vocalists on Transition. How did you manage?
I just created the music. Once it was done I started to think of who would be more suitable for each song. It worked out worked out very organically, just like how I usually like to work in general.
Are you open to collaborations with our younger readers who are musicians. How should they go about getting noticed?
I’m very open indeed. I’m all about bringing freshness to what I do to enhance my music with different vibrations. In order to get noticed the first and foremost thing for me is a good spirit and hard-working mindset. I’ve been through a lot of pain and struggle to get to where I am and I’m yet to be where I want to be.
So I have a lot of respect for those who work without expecting another to do it for them. Talent is also very important but without hard work, it’s indeed useless. I’m the one who handles all my social pages; though it’s hectic to respond to each message I get, I try my best to be as reachable as possible to my musical family.
Here’s an exclusive preview of track Satisfaction featuring Pegguy Tabu & Miranda Nicole.
Watch our YouTube hangout with Boddhi, Kaysha, Teedra Moses, Omar Lye Fook and Nelson Freitas
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