People’s Choice back by popular demand

21 Feb 2016 17:50pm
GOBABIS, 21 FEB (NAMPA) – Afro-pop music group, People's Choice, which hails from Gobabis, is planning on a return to the entertainment scene with the release of its third album in November this year.
The group, which has re-grouped with fewer members, has been absent from the music scene for some 15 years.
People's Choice reached high acclaim in the early 1990's following the release of their hit song 'Don't look back', more popularly known by its alias 'Siwelewele' - taken from the song’s chorus.
The song, contained on the group's debut album released in 1996 also titled 'Don't look back', became an overnight sensation in its hometown after its release.
Speaking to Nampa on the sidelines of the World Radio Day celebration in Gobabis - where the group also performed - last Saturday, producer Frans Katamelo confirmed that the band has been apart for over 15 years but music has brought them back to together.
“Three years ago, we released another album after a long break and we are looking forward to our third album. Some members, however, are not with us anymore,” said Katamelo.
Those who form part of the original People’s Choice music group are Anna Afrikaner, Gideon Van Staden, Rio Balser, Martin Tudinyani, Popikies Setsogela, Romanus Tudinyani and Peki Tudinyani.
Katamelo told this news agency Romanus and Peki have passed away.
He said ‘Siwelewele’ was inspired by the struggle faced by people who are held back by their past. The Setswana word roughly translates to “do not be trapped”.
“At that time, people thought we are South Africans and honestly, that is because we took the standard of music from that particular level on to greatness. We were still young and we had a passion and a wild fire burning within us. People could relate and it was very catchy,” he said.
Lead vocalist Martin Tudinyani describes the scheduled comeback as a great accomplishment for the band.
“In 2013, we released an album titled ‘Rethabile’ meaning 'We are happy', and that was the first album since our long break. We are all excited and even happier about the upcoming album,” said Tudinyani.
In 2015, band members Frans Katamelo and fellow vocalist Rio Balser released an album titled ‘Axarob’, loosely translated as “a boy”.
“Do not make a mistake, we are one band. People’s Choice is just one, who disappeared for a moment and came back under one umbrella as a happy extended family,” Katamelo said.
He described 2016 as 'the year of People’s Choice', saying numerous albums are to be released by several band members, while a collective album will be released later this year.
Tudinyani said he is planning on releasing a 10-track album titled ‘Supremacy’.
“The album speaks for itself and will be released in mid-April this year,” he said.
The band started as a group of friends who shared the dream to become musicians.
Said Katamelo: “It is people who convinced us to come back and finish what we started. We had a very successful album ‘Do not look back’ in 1996, from which we bought studio equipment. It also impacted our lives in many respects, and we are here to emulate that success and be even greater.”