Spotlight on Moja is where we feature and put the spotlight on various places and/or individuals. In addition to what we do, we’re also interested in people’s experiences and stories. Stories about cool places will also be on here.
We’re all different and have great stories, so what better way to share those than here?
Like the previous one, this week’s feature has a slightly different spin. This week’s feature is on someone who is well known by a few people especially in the SA Hip Hop scene. He may not be a household name yet but this gent is destined for great things and has already been involved in some great projects already, including this one. It is with great pleasure that this week’s Spotlight falls on Lebo Mochudi. Let’s find out more about him below:
Thank you for agreeing to this! To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about yourself? Who is Lebo? Please tell us a bit about your childhood and where you grew up.
Thank you for asking me to do it. Lebohang Hendrik Molema Mochudi is a Welkom-born, Maseru-raised, Johannesburg-based Man of Music. I lived in Lesotho with my grandmother until the age of 7 and had a 10-year stint in the Free State thereafter.
Music is obviously central to who you are, where and when did your love affair with it begin?
My Gran had me singing in church as soon as I could speak… so that was that. I taught myself little things and learnt others relentlessly along the way up to this point…where I am still learning.
Is your forte exclusively in hip hop/rap or do you also dabble and enjoy listening to other forms of music?
I told someone today, Hip-Hop is my heartbeat. I enjoy everything and certain genres or styles have taken prominent positions in my musical makeup… but yeah, Hip-Hop is the constant…especially now within my work with The Assembly ZA.
You’ve collaborated with some big names before, one of whom is Tumi Molekane. Please describe your experience working with some of these guys and him specifically.
I have a long checklist where absolutely every box needs to be ticked before I work with somebody. From that point onwards, the entire process is a learning experience for me. This is where Tumi slots in well because I had been studying his art since I was a youngster. So to work with him was quite the Master Class.
It’s clear that SA Hip Hop is on the up, how do you see the current scene and where it’s headed?
What’s cool with the scene now is that it is widely understood that there is a space for everyone. From the lyrical, original and experimental to the pop, regional and the followers of global trends, everyone has their place. The growth of the digital space also connects us to artists around the world in substantial, intimate ways.
You were recently involved in Absa’s Ready to Work initiative, how did that come about exactly?
I was initially a guide voice to help the company that made the Music (Audio Militia) put across their musical idea to Absa. Apparently client heard Nonku and I on the male and female guide tracks and decided they’d love to hear the both of us actually take the allotted assigned roles in the song and campaign.
For the Ready Set Go track, did both you and Nonku come up with the concept (lyrics, beat etc.) for the whole thing?
The Music was made by Audio Militia in Bryanston, Johannesburg. Nonku and I were given the freedom to determine the lyrical and melodic journey over the Music that had been created.
The Ready to Work campaign is obviously unique and a great initiative, but is there any specific reason you decided to get involved?
Look, the Ready To Work campaign is unique for me in the way that it actually deals with something topical, tangible and sustainable (at least for the foreseeable future) problems for the youth. So the idea that young or new participants in the financial system and cycle are to be taught how to negotiate the land-mines of the professional space is something I support fully. This information and preparation is not always readily available from dedicated parties and can make a huge difference in a young person’s life as they know it right now… and as it could be.
Lastly, airing on the message behind the initiative, where do you see the future of this country headed…especially with the youth in mind.
The Rainbow Children are finally here. Evolution of the minds and attitudes in our lifetime is slow in coming from the outgoing generation… and ours has probably inherited far too much excess baggage from the ballies. There is a strength and resolve and depth of understanding of fundamental concepts with these next couple of generations to follow that bodes well for the future of this country.
And those currently occupying the landscape also realise that we can’t fool or lie to them as easily as everyone else has been hoodwinked. So we change our approach to be as real as they are. Absa’s decision to talk TO them with this campaign instead of AT them is the perfect example of this paradigm shift.
A huge thank you to the awesome guys at FleishmanHillard for organizing the interview. And of course to the man himself, Lebo (@LeboMochudi) for taking the time and indulging us with some great insight. A true class act and a gent you are.