At first, we knew Nande “M-Jay” Michael as a young and successful producer working with the likes of The Dogg, Exit and Freeda while Lameck “Satlam” Shatilwe we knew as an academic and Oshiwambo vernacular singer who successfully released five solo albums.
Last year, in a surprise move, the two teamed up to work on their first project, an album titled Oxula for Success, which dominated the airwaves well into and during the festive season. The album is currently being marketed under the Ombanya Records label, owned by Satlam. It is produced under Drum Kick Music Production owned by M-Jay and UGU Audio by Young T.
In an interview with New Era, Satlam recounts the day the two teamed up. He says it was one day when they were just testing the sounds at M-Jay’s studio, and he came up with a unique beat laced with interesting sounds. “We were so amused by the sound that we started recording the song with Longizo bit by bit and when the song was done – that was the birth of Oxula, which simply means hunger for something. We were just having fun with the beat, mentioning close friends and encouraging them to have hunger for success,” says Satlam.
“The song became the talk of social media, a hit song that started playing in taxis, on phones, at parties and even in jukeboxes. That’s why we sat down and decided to do a collaboration album. The rest is history,” he smiles.
Satlam describes M-Jay as a talented producer whose beat ideas flow at a floods pace. “I was more on the lyrics side of things, especially deep Oshiwambo lyrics and metaphors while M-jay was more on production. He produced all the songs in the album except one song that was produced by Young-T,” he says.
The 16 tracks album was released mid last year, and many thought the theme of the album was sexuality as is evident in the name of the song, but Satlam made it clear that it was simply “hunger for success” in life. “The word is deep in Oshiwambo and has been used since the Oshiwambo vernacular was formed. We decided to name the album Oxula For Success because M-Jay and I felt that we had not yet succeeded in the crowded Namibian music industry,” says Satlam, adding that with the release of their album, they just wanted to succeed in any endeavor they pursued, be it record breaking album sales, winning awards, recognition beyond Namibian borders or winning the hearts of investors through this album.
“Listeners cannot ignore the flavors we put into this album. We chose the words…metaphors and dancing catalysts.
On the other hand, we made sure that the quality of the album was of a high standard.” Oxula for Success is a mixture of Kwaito, Afropop, Shambo and Township Disco. The song Oxula is a Township Disco genre song, and it is the biggest hit on the album. Songs like Omashendjo, Ulikile nge, Longa Utale, Pokati and Sober are all undeniable.
The albums message aims to encourage everybody to work hard for their bread. “Don’t expect someone to do things for you, stand up and go hustle.” On the album, the song “Ulikile Nge” warns couples to get to know each other before they get married to avoid breaking up just after marriage. There is also a message of unity in the album, encouraging Namiban artists to work together.
By the end of this month, the duo will release two music videos for “Pokati” and “Sober”. Their expectations are to see the videos played on Channel O, MTV Base as well as Zambezi Magic channels.