New album boosts gospel singer

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Gospel artist Paul Lechalaba has released a new album under his own recording label, Sheer Sound.

It is the first gospel album to be recorded by the company, which is associated mainly with jazz and house music.

Lechalaba, pictured, was born in Kroonstad in Free State.

His new release is aptly called Jwale ke Nako, probably signalling that this is his time to be noticed throughout the length and breath of the local gospel scene.

"I have been around for quite a long time and I have really worked hard as a gospel artist performing around the country as well as in the southern African region," says Lechalaba.

The muso comes from a very religious background and his father, Joseph Lechalaba, is a well-known pastor and popular guitarist and singer.

Lechalaba says his father played a major role in his career and it is because of his dad that he took his career as a singer so seriously.

Lechalaba got his break in 1984 while doing sessions for the Holy Cross Choir.

He was also encouraged by the renowned Joseph Dumako of the Holy Spirits Choir, who helped shape his career by recording with gospel greats such as the late Sammy Malete.

Lechalaba later formed his own group called New Life Singers. The group's music was recorded by Gallo Records.

Lechalaba went solo in 1990 and released his first album, Diketso tsa Morena. People loved the album and it sold more than 25000 units in the first two months of being released.

Lechalaba released two other smashing albums, Nako ya ho rapela and Tloho le wena.

His music was very popular and Lechalaba was in great demand for live performances in and around Free State and beyond.

His popularity resulted in him being invited to perform in Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

He has shared the stage with Rebecca Malope, Benjamin Dube, Vuyo Mokoena, Solly Moholo, Oleseng Shuping, Deborah Fraser, Tshepo Tshola and many others.

Jwale ke Nako proves once again what a talented gospel artist Lechalaba is.