By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK AFTER a whole year of almost no stage activity and intensive recording, well-known local musician Ben Kandukira, best known as ‘Big Ben’ has released his self-titled album, which will be on the music shelves as from today (Monday 5th November). The latest release once again shows Big Ben’s capabilities of having grown as a music producer and profound songwriter through compiling a naturally Namibian flavoured album. Having been silent for almost a year, he’s back with a brand new album. In an interview with New Era, Ben said that he was hard at work in his Windhoek West studio recording and producing music for other musicians. His music this time is fresh and has a lot of influence from the Southern African region with many songs compiled in Otjiherero – his mother tongue. The award winning graphics designer, Andrew Weir, who worked on his album’s design, was quoted as saying, “It sounds more like Johnny Clegg and Savuka or Paul Simon, but a fresh Namibian sound, especially the guitars.” Asked about his album, he explained: ” I have always played the guitar to myself but decided to use it in all my songs this year. The music took me the whole year to make and that ensures that there’s real quality and musical genius. My music targets young adults and I therefore worked hard on the lyrics and arrangements.” Another local star, Killa B was also heard saying the music is fresh and will have its own market as the country now needs a fresh groove. Big Ben features collaborations with Jossy Joss, Bolli and Pablo. He also features a well-known female singer from the Oviritje hall of fame, Ongoro Nomundu’s Sharon Uanivi and DJ Max-T of the NBC’s Otjiherero Radio. Other upcoming highlights for Big Ben included charity shows like the World Aids Day commemorations that were held last Friday, December 1st at the Sam Nu-joma Stadium and the much-anticipated launch party for the album. The party will be held this week Friday December 9, at the Olympia swimming pool in Windhoek and gates open at 19h00. The party will not only highlight his latest album CD, but will also be his birthday party celebration. His real birthday is on December 12, which is the following Monday. Other local performers like Matongo Family, Abros “Mutuarari” Kaakunga and the young vibrant Sonny Boy will also feature at this event. An entrance ticket includes drinks, snacks and a free CD of the new album at a cost of N$100. Tickets are limited, since only 200 of them have been printed for the launching party.