By Jeoffrey Mukubi
FRANKLIN Newman Shitaleni and Liopold ‘Dee’A’ Vatilifaa are a dynamic and fresh musical duo from Windhoek, who have come out of nowhere to set the gospel music scene alight.
They blend gospel with a number of other genres, including Hip-Hop, RnB and Kwaito.
“Working together seemed like the right thing to do, and we are just giving the people what they want, which is good quality music,” says Dee’A, who grew up in Ongwediva and began his musical journey in 2012.
As for Franklin, he released a mixtape in 2010, which ultimately paved the way for the duo to collaborate.
A two-year musical relationship has now led to Franklin and Dee’A releasing their first album together, titled Victory. Dee’A says all the songs in their album stand out for him, but if he had to choose his favourites it would be He saves and Chopolife.
“He saves is a song that tells people God accepts everyone and touches every broken heart and soul; it’s basically a song of praise,” explains Dee’A.
He adds that Chopolife is sung in Oshiwambo and is dedicated to young people. It warns against them indulging in reckless behaviour, as there is more to life than having irresponsible fun.
In spite of the short period Franklin and Dee’A have been together, they have already graced several stages locally and internationally, such as the Benjamin Dube’s Festival of Praise, Rise of a Generation hosted by Clive Willemse, Kingdom Worship in Johannesburg, as well as a performance at the 2016 Namibian Gospel Music Awards, where Dee’A won an award for Best Gospel Rap.
“This year has been good to us. We flew to the United States of America and performed in Philadelphia, Dallas, Newport Rhode Island, North Carolina and also spent a night in New York,” says Franklin, who says his experience in America was an eye-opener that made him realise how Americans value art and appreciate music more than Namibians have done over the years.
“We learnt a lot and realised that Namibia should start taking its music more seriously, because Americans liked our music, and we have to expose our cultures to the world,” Dee’A told Confidente.
Franklin and Dee’A clearly have a good thing going on, and they have plans to enter the 2018 edition of the Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs).
Dee’A says their Victory album is the best album out right now and that everyone should grab a copy.
“Even if you are going through hardships, keep pushing and put your faith in God, because if you ask Him to bless you He will,” says Dee’A, who added that the corporate world should support local artists.
If you want to get to know Franklin and Dee’A, follow them on their social media platforms, including Facebook, SoundCloud, Instragram and YouTube.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015