She is going back to her roots in gospel and loving every minute of it. Her professional life has come full circle.
She's living as the book of Proverbs in the Bible says, “start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it”.
This is exactly how musician Choko's life is evolving. She's doing gospel music again after releasing an afro soul album years ago.
Boichoko Qwabe started singing in her local church as a child and she also sang at school. When she went to university, she was part of the mass choir at the University of Free State. When she started her music journey, she was discouraged from doing gospel because her sound was “too old”.
“I wanted to sing old traditional hymns and when I went into studio, I was told that it was for old people. I then stopped with the gospel, but in my heart, I knew that I would one day do a gospel album even though I was doing afro soul at the time,” she says.
She released her first Afrosoul album “Lerato” in 2014. Ever since then, she has been going strong.
That album that saw her scooping a Golden Bean award in Best Female Artist category in 2014 and a SATMA in 2015.
The SATMA winning singer is now finally ready to release her 10-track album with Mmoloki Waka as her favourite on the album.
“I cannot believe you’re making me choose one song, I love all of them,” she says, laughing.
“I wanted to make an album that feels like home. I am originally from Bloemfontein but based in Joburg and everything is different in Jozi, even church. I wanted to have songs that remind me of when I was growing up and how church made me feel. Currently there are a lot of contemporary gospel songs out there, but I wanted to do the good old-fashioned hymns I grew up to in the church.”
Losing her father suddenly two years ago was a turning point for her.
“Sjoe, losing my father really crippled me hey. I could not even sing for a long time. I could not worship. I was questioning God and I was having hard but honest and necessary conversations with Him. I had just had a baby and I remember calling my dad and telling him that I felt better enough to travel, and he would get to meet his granddaughter and he was excited, but he died two days later. I really struggled when trying to deal with the loss, I was a daddy’s girl. Little did I know that it would be the thing to bring me back closer to God."
Her new album, Healing, will be released on 16 July and is currently available for preordering.
“Through this album and my testimony, I’m saying it is time for restoration and healing even in the midst of these staggering death tolls we wake up to daily. God is still sovereign, able to heal the broken hearted and bandage their wounds. His word is full of healing power, and this season we are in will pass.”