Q&A: Rehilwe Mooketsi, singer-songwriter


Rehilwe MooketsiRehilwe Mooketsi is a South African singer-songwriter, born and raised in Mamusa near Schweizer-reneke in North-West Province.

What projects are you currently working on?
A singer songwriter development project which identifies and converts potential spaces as Busking hubs throughout Gauteng. Busking also called street performing is to play music in the street while also soliciting money. The project seeks to encourage collaboration and genuine dialogue between singer songwriters and communities they live within. Community engagement work will be around issues of unemployment, ecological conservation, poverty, LGBTI (lesbian gay bisexual transgender and intersex), love, sexism, child and women abuse etc. I’m also currently working on the release of my EP for early 2016.

Who are your musical inspirations?
Bob Dylan, Joan armatrading, Lizz wright, Bhekumuzi Luthuli, Kb Motsilenyane, Koko taylor, Bessie smith, Memphis Minnie, Kevin leicher, Joe Niemand, Marcus Foster, Jake Odendaal, Mahotella queens, Barorisi ba morena, Macecelia a st Paul, Karen zoid, Toni Wille, Luna paige, Johnny clegg.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
My Mom, for her hard work & strength, and for believing in me.
She financed my first acoustic guitar in 1999 which I bought for R60 from an old man at a local shebeen, she also assisted with start-up capital for my Indie record label, I would not be half the woman I am today without her.

Where would you most like to perform?
In South Africa’s township shebeens and Nashville coffee shops.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to build or design loud speakers, I was always fascinated by the power that came out of them through to us and how that power (sound & voices) could travel from the nearest Tavern at night and reach my house.
When I was in secondary school I improvised from an old hi-fi system my granny had and built a single cabinet speaker, I think the wood cabinet provided a rich, full overall sound and a low frequency bass to die for!

What are the five things you can’t live without?
Crafter electro-acoustic Guitar (aka Segomotso)
Revlon SL Lipstick
Sennheiser over ear Headphones
Garnier deodorant 72 hours
Knee brace (suffered an injury which left my right knee permanently unstable)

What hidden talents do you have?
The Gift of hearing, I have a very keen ‘ear’ for detail.

If you were not a singer, what profession would you choose to occupy?
Industrial economist

If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be?

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to do what you do?
Learn how to work with recording labels, start your own small business enterprise, and forge strong business relationships. Take charge, be patient with yourself and stir your career in to the direction you want to.