Thozi Sejanamane shares some words with Chee (Lesego Chez) ahead of Grietfest. The two discuss the dark and surreal tones in his music, his production methods, the thriving local Drum & Bass scene and Charlie.
You introduced Chee to the internet May 2014. What were you up to before then and were there any previous musical projects?
Glitrixx is a project I may have been involved with.
How long have you producing music and what ignited your interest in creating music?
Overall I’ve been producing for 8 years (the last 4 years have been a more clear understanding to what I was actually doing). I never had a catalogue of music back then so I didn’t clearly understand what music was. I used to spend my time drawing and playing an insane amount of video games. I always thought of a digital audio workstation as a sound generator, not a music making software so I started emulating sounds I would recall from video games and cartoons. You could say I wasn’t a fan of the real world. I only started listening and actually making music in the beginning of high school which was 5 years ago.
Which comes first when your producing – A sound or an idea?
It depends in what headspace I’m in at the time. If I don’t have any ideas, I’ll sit one day & create random sounds and save them then come back another day and use those sounds with whatever idea I have. I find it tedious to have an idea but constantly scrolling through sounds till I can’t even remember what my idea was.
The best way I can describe your music is structured chaos or tantric chi with a wide variety of influencers. How would you define your sound and what is the element that one can find in all your music?
I’d describe it as surreal and unusual. The two main things that are quite obvious is the dark and glitchy characteristics. My tracks are either dark or glitchy or both.
There is a certain mechanical darkness to your music. Is this something you hope to evoke in listeners or is the interpretation of your music something you leave open for the listener?
My music left open for any interpretation. I don’t create music with people in mind or to provoke specific feelings
You’re also a graphic designer an illustrator. Does your knowledge of these skills affect the way in which you create music at all?
Absolutely. I find it interesting to reference artworks because you can create your own interpretation to what sounds could go well with them. Same thing apply with photographs, sculptures, etc.
The Drum & Bass scene is thriving with various brands, promoters, and artists fuelling its current state. What excites you about the current state of the scene and is there anything which annoys you?
I’m not too concerned as to what’s going on in the scene. It’s intriguing to see how fast the growth of the Drum & Bass scene is happening at this very moment. It’s also very exciting to see so many new South African artists producing top quality Drum & Bass. Can’t find anything that would annoy me about it.
Are there any genres of music or artists you listen to your fans would be surprised to hear that you listen to?
I listen to a lot of Mars Volta, Martin Taylor, Submotion Orchestra & Hans Zimmer just to name a few. I also enjoy a lot of the hip hop stuff from artists like Aesop Rock, Earl Sweatshirt & Captain Murphy/Flying Lotus.
You’ve said on social media that your have enough material to release a full Drum and Bass album. Are there any plans to do so and what does the rest of 2015 hold for Chee?
I’m not going to spoil you too much with the information but there’s definitely an album on its way. I’ll also be releasing my forthcoming EP with Underslung Audio closer to the event.
What can we expect from your set at Grietfest? Any chance of putting a spanner in the works and including “Charlie” in your set?
You can expect a lot new material from myself. Might just throw in a VIP mix of Charlie, lol.
Get your head around “Charlie” above and be click the image below to purchase tickets for Grietfest 2015.
Featured image by Henk Steyn Photography