The last seven years has seen a dramatic shift in the way we think about (and talk about and write about) Soulful House Music from South Africa in America. No longer viewed as exotic or even distinct, we’ve dropped the adjective entirely and now view it simply as “Soulful House.” Unlike many short-lived scenes, there has been a replenishing flow of great tracks and unique artists and personalities that built upon the first wave to gain international recognition.
Among these artists is Sir LSG, whose debut album Moving Circles is positively loaded an array of homegrown and world talent, from Carla Prather, Kafele, Clara Hill, Jaidene Veda, Joseph Junior, Ayanda Jiya, Zano and more.
Sir LSG: A 5 Mag Mix
Sir LSG: A 5 Mag Mix Tracklist
1. Sunlightsquare – Oyelo Sunlightsquare – Records
2. E.O.L. Soulfrito – Upright Love (Louie Vega Kat Mix) – Vega Records
3. Sir LSG feat. Carla Prather – Let It Be (Sir LSG Main Mix) – GOGO Music
4. Sobz – Summer Love (Blackjean Instrumental Mix) – Sci-Fi Productions
5. Hallex M, Tasita D’ Mour – Brazilian Love (Vocal Mix) – Groove Odyssey
6. David Bailey, Hanlei, Ziggy Funk – Runnin’ Me Wild (Bailey’s Wild Dub) – Good Vibrations Music
7. Lilac Jeans – Hold On (feat. Kele B) – Lilac Jeans Music
8. Christian B & Lavvy Levan – So Special (Rapson Remix) – Friday Fox Recordings
9. Izo FitzRoy – Hope You Can Wait (Hot Toddy Dub) – Jalapeno
10. Atjazz – Track 5 (Mix 1) – Atjazz Record Company
Sir LSG: The 5 Mag Interview
Hello, and thanks for talking with us & making a mix for our 5 Mag Mix series. How long have you been on the scene as a DJ and as a music producer?
Thank you for having this interview with me.
I learnt to DJ back in 2006 with a few of my varsity friends, couldn’t have imagined then that I would still be doing this, not to this extent at least. After doing badly on my second year studying electrical engineering, I decided to do an introductory course in electronic music production, and a sound engineering course after that. I would say I started making music towards the end of 2008.
What records influenced how you sound and how you approach music?
It’s very difficult to pick from a lot of my musical influences, but when it comes to House Music, I’ve been fortunate to have seen (and still see) greats such as Kerri Chandler, Quentin Harris, Ralf GUM, Charles Webster, Osunlade, Larry Heard, and many others, really take this music to higher levels. We’ve really enjoyed a lot of great songs form a big pool of House Music artists over the years. The greatest influence for me has always been the ability to bring something good and different to the scene.
It’s been about five years since South Africa seemingly exploded onto the House Music scene – or at least that’s how we saw it here. How has the scene changed? Is it stronger than ever, weaker than before, better or worse or just different?
This is a very difficult question to answer, our (mine and 5 Mag’s) view of how things were five years ago might be different. South Africa has always had a unique vibe with House Music. It’s not a simple thing to explain but you have to experience it to understand. Musically, there’s a couple of sub-genres emerging from House and becoming something else on their own, just like in many parts of the world. The Soulful House part of our scene, which is what I love and do, is evidently not as big as it was before – it’s alive, yes, but not exactly how it was before. We can only work and hope that the it grows again.
Listening to your album Moving Circles, one can’t help but to note that it begins with a song about endings (“Departure”) and ends with a song about beginnings (“Arrival.”) Can you help me a bit with the “story” behind the album, because I strongly sense that there is one.
I understand how you would see the “Arrival” & “Departure” narrative that way, however for this album it is about starting on a journey, departing from a certain point, experiencing walks of life, and then eventually arriving at a destination. The album basically represents us (people) as “Moving Circles,” going from A, through stuff till you get to B, in one form or another. Isn’t this what we actually do?
So how do you know Carla Prather? She’s a Chicago person, and the years have snuck up on me but I think she’s got to be considered one of the most accomplished vocalists in House Music history now.
I met Carla while she was in Joburg early this year, by chance really. She performed on the same line up as Ralf GUM and we linked up a few days after their gig. I’ve always been a fan and she’s had some really big songs that are still celebrated in the South African House scene today. I’m very happy to have gotten the opportunity to work with a legendary figure like Carla on my album. Not many up and coming artists get the opportunity to work with the make of musicians I’ve been fortunately been able to work with on my album, I’ll forever be grateful to each of these artists for what they offered on this record.
I’d like to go through all of the vocalists here but I don’t think there’s time! Instead I’m noticing that they’re located on at least three different continents. How many of these were recorded with you in the same room, or were the majority done remotely? As a music man, do you find it easier to work with people on the spot or from afar?
Out of the nine vocal songs on the album, three were recorded remotely – the ones with Kafele & Jaidene Veda, Clara Hill and Joseph Junior. I always prefer to be present when recordings happen, so I can have creative input. On the other hand, it’s also exciting for me to hear how another person interprets the music in my absence. It was quite amazing for me to find that we listen to music so differently.
What have you learned as an artist through the making of Moving Circles? Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew then?
An artist should always enjoy their craft, and the making of this album taught me so much about myself and what I love. Once you know that, you know what the record should sound like. Another thing I learnt: “Get The Sound RIGHT!!!” If you get the sound sorted, right at the beginning, you’re most likely to have seamless, enjoyable sessions. Sonically I’ve learnt a lot from Ralf GUM through mixing this project with him.
Do you have any touring plans? Outside the country?
We’re are in the process of putting together a nationwide tour in South Africa and neighbouring countries, hopefully we can have more focus on an international tour early 2018.
Best of luck to you on Moving Circles! What can you tell us about your 5 Mag Mix?
Thank you once again for the feature.
For the mix, I played some of my favourite tunes currently, including a song from my album Moving Circles: “Let It Be” featuring Chicago’s own Carla Prather. This is pretty much what I would play right now.