South Africa is full of colour and culture, there’s a lot one can creatively do with it. Our country has a lot of content which gives me a lot of creativity, that’s why I chose Motswako as a hip hop sub-genre to tell my stories.”
Lection also known as Thebe Jairus Solomon is a Motswako artist from Mafikeng whose music and interactive stage performances holds up a mirror to the talent and quality production coming out of the local SA hip hop scene. He reflects on his latest single ‘Drop It’ produced by B.Venom, what drove him to simply give away more than three thousand copies of his music, staying creative in a country like SA, and being an independent thinker.
You’re known for the kind of engaging stage performances that is original every time. How easy and/or challenging do you find coming up with new sets each time and when do you find is the best opportunity to interact with the audience?
Lection: I draw inspiration from the previous performance and how the crowd reacted to my material and delivery; I always try to beat that or improve on it. I never dwell on the same sequence of a set.
What is it about being a South African Motswako artist that you feel draws you in and makes it the Lection preferred method of creative self-expression and why?
Lection: South Africa is full of colour and culture, there’s a lot one can creatively do with it. Our country has a lot of content which gives me a lot of creativity, that’s why I chose Motswako as a hip hop sub-genre to tell my stories.
Your latest single ‘Drop It’ is a definite dance floor kind of jam and your flow is superb. What were you and B.Venom doing and thinking when you wrote and produced this?
Lection: B.Venom sent me a few beats and this specific one caught me immediately because when the 808 comes in it demands you to move something. ‘Drop It’ is simply for people who know how to have fun and are not shy to show it.
As an artist why do you think it is important to remain an independent thinker within the industry and how do you ensure that you keep your mind open and not get stuck in a creative rut?
Lection: Artists need to have control of their music and make decent money from their sweat and pain. Having a strong team behind you is always important as they’ll tackle other issues for you as you mainly focus on the craft and building a solid brand.
For your first project you physically handed out a hefty three and half thousand copies for free, and people were largely happy to take it from you, enjoying and appreciating your sound. Why did you figure this was a good move and how did you benefit from distributing your music in this way?
Lection: I just wanted the streets to know my music before even thinking about cashing in. The hunger of being noticed and acknowledged persuaded me to go that route and it paid off because word got around and it gained a solid fan base.
You’ve been impressively busy with a list of high profile gigs to boot. Was or is there ever a time when you turn down a gig, and what do you reckon the parameters are wherein you accept a performance job and what are your reasons for doing so?
Lection: There are gigs we do to create a working relationship, some for charity or outreach programs, whereas some are simply your standard booking. It’s the nature of the event that determines it all.