Rhythm and melody are the signature elements that have propelled the group, Kingdom Classics, to great heights. With their passion for language and song, these gentlemen have injected a touch of class into our evenings. There are four members in the group, Tuoe Hants’i, Mojai Madrass, Motebang Koneshe and Teboho Mothobi who is currently studying in South Africa, leaving them at three for the time being. They sing in English, Sesotho and Spanish for added romance and have brought us popular hits such as the ‘The Man You Love’ (Monna eo mo ratang), ‘I have a dream’, and ‘Wicked Games’ (Papali ea Bohlokoa or ‘Melanchonia’ in Spanish).
The group was formed in 2009 when after travelling to Italy for studies Ntate Tuoe Hants'i came across various musical groups which inspired him to try and implement something similar in Lesotho. After seeking some guidance and advice on how to go about it he came back home and brought together a few fellows he knew to create the now renowned Kingdom Classics. All the gentlemen in the group had been in choirs for a substantial amount of time and wanted to venture into something new, according to Ntate Hants’i. They were looking for something new to revive their passion for music. They specialise in pop classic and rearrange popular songs and overlay their vocals over them.
Kingdom Classics do four shows a year, with Avani Maseru being in charge of two of them. Avani Maseru assists with all the preparations then engages them as artists which he says is very fortunate as it helps them tremendously with scheduling. They have a Valentine’s Day show, a show in the middle of Easter and winter called the Easter-Winter show. Then there is a show designed to take us into independence in style on the last Friday of September followed by a Christmas show catered by Avani Maseru, where they perform for free. Drinks and meals are on offer from the hotel. He accredits Avani Maseru who he says have been a big help in allowing them to use their facilities for rehearsals and the like. As well as various other companies and radio stations that have shown support in even the smallest of ways.
Ntate Hants’i says that they encourage their audience to get dressed up in their best attire, because as we know sometimes we have clothes that we buy for special occasions and only get to wear them once, but with these occasions there is an opportunity to adorn your best gear again. The culture of dressing up is part of what makes them memorable.
Initially they had envisioned targeting middle aged and business people but it went far beyond what they had expected as people of all ages thoroughly enjoy their music. Ntate Hants’i reiterates a story of a friend of his who brought her father, who at the start was disgruntled to tag along as he dislikes events in general. However after experiencing their performance, he loved it so much that he hasn’t missed one since, and if he can’t make it he buys a ticket regardless just to show his support.
Not confining themselves to the success they have achieved locally, they have decided that they want to explore other avenues by going across the border. On the 3rd of September they performed in Clarens for the first time and had an amazing reception. The intention is to also venture into Botswana and Swaziland as time goes on as they have realised they have a potential market there as well.
“While we were in South Africa people couldn’t believe we were from Lesotho.”
“I don’t know why there’s this belief that good things cannot come from the kingdom of Lesotho,” he laughs.
With the intention to sing seven songs, they ended up singing twice the amount due to the high demands, more requests and cries for encores.
Kingdom Classics also perform at formal events, weddings, anniversaries, parties and so forth. What he loves most about this project is how refreshing it is for the mind. It is something to occupy his mind that isn’t just business and work.
“It actually brings so much; to the one who sings and the one you are singing for.”
As difficult as it is to find the time due to other responsibilities such as day jobs family and so forth, they “create time” for themselves to do this. Not negating the incredible amount of support that comes from their friends and family, he doesn’t give them complimentary tickets. His family and friends have to buy tickets like everyone else because that is how you show support, according to Ntate Hants’i.
“Some friends might say ‘oh buy some for me because we’re friends,’ but that’s not how friends support each other,” he says.
Ntate Hants’i says this is done primarily for entertainment, which is the basis, regardless of whether or not money is being made. The money they make from ticket sales recycles into sustaining the music with equipment and buying the music for rearrangement, however, they also donate. On the 28th of August they performed for free at a high-school in Mafeteng and left every single proceed they made from ticket sales. They are nurturing local talent with collaborations and exposure. One instance is when they collaborated with Mapule Mosiuoa a former Vodacom Superstars’ winner and now judge. ”We want to give back to people because the reception is just so good.”
Be sure to join us at their next show on the 30th of September at Avani Maseru,19:00 and witness the tremendous amount of talent, class and heart for yourselves.
Visit the Kingdom Classics Facebook page for more information.