In March we hosted Australian poet, Luka Lesson as part of the Tongue Fu show we produced with Chris Redmond from the UK. So we were quite excited to hear that he has release his latest album…and it’s free.
Mpho Khosi caught up with Luka to find out more about the book and how his experience of the South African poetry was.
You have decided to give out your Album, and as an artist that is financially straining, what do u wish to accomplish with doing this?
I guess I want to make sure everyone who I have met touring over the last few years can access it and have it in their possession. And that nothing, not even money, blocks that from happening. Especially since a lot of the people I have worked with cannot afford to be spending lots of money on music. It is also my focus to reach out and connect with a bigger fan base worldwide and let this album be the catalyst for the next level of my career.
Are there any major differences between the latest album and the first one?
There’s a huge difference between these albums. The last album ‘Please Resist Me’ was half hip-hop tracks, half spoken word and a very politically focused piece. This album ‘EXIT’ is emotional, a journey into the unknown and an ode to vulnerability. I didn’t let myself over-think the tracks, everything came from a gut reaction… and most pieces were written within a few hours of hearing the music, no more. So it is immediate and unmasked.
EXIT got it’s title from me pushing my boundaries with this one, escaping my safety zone physically on tour and as an artist. It isn’t a rap album, or a hip-hop album, or electronic or spoken word. I just went into the studio and approached everything as a poet. I didn’t know what would come out until it was done.
Do you ever think that you will evolve and do a different genre?
Yes, I am beginning to branch out and just make music I like, I think EXIT has elements of folk, electronic and world music as well as some hip-hop samples and beats. We’ll see where it goes from here.
How have you balanced, dealing with the business and admin end of being self-publish and still finding time to write?
This is my biggest challenge, being my own manager, touring and finding time to be the artist. Luckily I have people who believe in me and my work and help me to make this dream a reality. Pranishka Nayagar, my tour manager and fellow poet when I was in South Africa, has been a huge help. I owe her a lot and it has been great to see her shine as an artist.
During you time in South Africa, you hosted a workshop with students in Westonaria, do you plan on doing more outreach programmes that entail you being a teacher or even a mentor to up and coming writers?
I love this side of my work, I have a lot of workshops and school visits coming up in the next six months. And I have poets sending me work to look over pretty constantly. To be honest the young people in South Africa, and in particular Westonaria, really helped me stay inspired and connected to the artform. They were absolutely crazy talented and welcoming. I also gave my camera and new album to the young people at Soweto Kliptown Youth, they made a video clip for my next release from the album, so keep an eye out for that.
You have performed on different stages in different places, which would you say is a stage and place that stands out and why?
I’ve played in people’s homes to festivals, hip-hop events and poetry slams. It is hard to say but I can’t go past the vibe and crowds at The Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe in NYC. Mahogany Brown who is the host there is the best slam master I’ve seen and on a Friday night, it’s absolutely incredible.
Having visited SA, what would you say still needs to be done in the country to better promote poetry?
To be honest, more of the same. I think you have a good fan base, a passion for story telling and appreciation of words that runs through the entire nation. South African TV is willing to have poets on and there are people who know how to organise good events. Keep pushing and make sure everything is high quality. A slam is only as good as it’s poets.
Also, the only thing I could say is please, do not imitate America. There are a million excellent imitators out there. Poetry is an artform that is about individuality. Be you, as much as possible.
Where to from here for you?
Now I will do an Australian tour and begin giving my album to 20 Million people worldwide. And start planning the next journey to SA. I hope it is sooner rather than later.
DOWNLOAD THE ALBUM NOW!
Australian Poetry Slam Champion and conscious hip-hop artist Luka Lesson has a dream: to get Exit, his ambitious second album, into the hands of 20 MILLION people worldwide without charge.
How? With the help of his fan base. Over the past few months Lesson amassed a street team of over 200 fans worldwide who are poised to distribute his music in their cities on 6 continents.
But he also needs your help to share his album with as many people as possible!!
1) Download the Full Album via the below link.
2) Like his Fan Page on Facebook.
3) Share is album with everyone you know.
– Work Colleagues
– Download onto USB and share with people directly
– Write a review on your blog
– Contact your local Radio station, newspaper, TV organisations
– Host a listening Party
– Take photos by an exit sign and send it to me! 🙂
Share, share, share!! 20 million people – we got this!!