A couple of months back, I did a mini-profile on Mpho Skeef, a UK artist with roots in South Africa, who has been plugging away in the music industry for many years now, as a singer and songwriter. At the time, it seemed like she was finally receiving the recognition and backing she deserves, after signing with Parlophone Records in the UK. After hearing her first single Box n Locks, I was looking forward to hearing the full album as well as, hopefully, seeing her in South Africa at some stage.
I recently had a chat with her and there are new, less than positive, developments. It seems the relationship with Parlophone has faltered even before it really kicked off. It seems that, although they signed her as a “ready for the road artist” with a finished album, they were unsure of how to market her and “hadn’t put a solid marketing plan” in place from the start.
Mpho doesn’t fit into the stereotypical black female artist and this may also have had an impact on the breakdown in relationship, as well as the possibility that, although the focus was to be on longevity, Mpho’s first single reached chart position of 49. She is the kind of artist who will have a long and solid career but that is not always what the industry is looking for.
While they still do still have her on their website, Mpho is currently in negotiations to try and get her album back from them as well as working on new material and preparing for the birth of her new baby. Check her out on www.myspace.com/mphosounds where she will be putting up more songs from the album. I do hope we will see more of her and her music and that this would discourage her.