A Conversation With Lakei: Cape Town’s Best Kept Secret Merging Local & International Sounds
Cape Town is an important city for the African electronic beats scene. With a dance music scene which is regarded as one of the best in the world, you can imagine how great their beats scene is — a scene that frequently intersects with dance music and its many variants. Now with a great scene, you need great talent, and producers like Lakei (pronounced as ‘Lucky’) keep the scene alive and push it beyond its limits. To get more insight into the Cape Town beats scene, we had to catch up with the talented producer. A passionate young artist that is heavily inspired by kwaito music, bubblegum, hip hop and house music; which shows in many of his productions.
When asked about his creative process, his style of production, recent work and the Lipton Tapes, he said the following: “Lipton Tapes was just me trying to make some funky, summer time, house influenced festive music. I have a lot of music that falls in this category but I’ll probably never release the songs. Will just play them in a couple DJ sets.” Lakei is no stranger to showing appreciation for the old school and this is apparent in his music where, from a production perspective, he pulls stylistic influences from great kwaito producers such as Mandla Spikiri, Mdu Masilela and Oskido. His Inkomazi kwaito series gives off a nostalgic feel. Far from falling short in the skills of crafting electronic dance music and he has proven this with his bootleg version of AlunaGeorge’s hit song ‘I’m in control’.
Growing up in Rondebosch, Cape Town, he started producing when he was 12 years old; with his older brother teaching him the basics of producing music. “So basically my brother and I where fans kwaito music when were younger and that’s where it stems from. However, Dunn Kidda another producer from Cape Town, made a song called ‘Laanie Level’ and that acted as the catalyst for the first kwaito song that I made which was called ‘ Done Kiddin’ which was basically influenced by him.”
The young producer has a long career ahead of him and with his unique style of production, there is no doubt that he is part of the new generation of South African artists that are shaping the new Mzansi sound.