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Billy Monama's life in song

Jazz guitarist Billy Monama has finally compiled an album of his own.

You can buy it online or wait until month end to get the CD, when it will be officially launched in conjunction with Kaya FM at Gold Reef City.

For those who don't know his work, they might argue that dropping a debut album at 32 is not a bad achievement.

Jazz bassist Herbie Tsoaeli confirmed his creative mastery with African Time in 2012.

He was 49.

If it were not his busy global schedule, Monama could have probably unleashed this 12-track album more than five years ago.

"I started recording the album in 2009. But being an independent artist is not easy, it's costly. I had a financial setback and could not continue with the project.

"In between that, I had many other things going on including building the Grazroots Project and performing internationally."

And then tragedy struck in 2013 when his mother died in a car crash while he was performing at Macufe in Bloemfontein, Free State.

"I came back immediately to get on with funeral arrangements while I was juggling rehearsals and preparations for a show at Pretoria's State Theatre.

"Then the following year I had a break-in at my house and everything was stolen ... I had to start life from scratch, even the album. I wrote new songs based on all these unfortunate incidents and re-recorded everything," he said.

As a result, Monama's offering sounds like a journey through his short but eventful life. He says Rebounce is an autobiography in song.

Some of the tracks on the album, which he produced himself, are Sunset, Lefu ke Bophelo and Hymn for Dikeledi, dedicated to his late mother Dikeledi.

He has also revisited classics by his role models Zakes Nkosi (See you Later) and West Nkosi (Makhaza).

Monama brought out the big guns for the album including Ghanian vocalist Gatobona Aghbodohu, percussionist Tlale Makhene, saxophonists Linda Sikhakhane and Mthunzi Mvubu.

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