In Conversation With Kah e Lah: Postmastburg Born Singer-Songwriter Delivering Soulful Vibes On The Net
Born and raised in a small town in the Northern Cape called Postmastburg in Northern Cape, talented singer and beat-maker Kah e Lah is slowly making her mark in the South African music industry. She is not only an amazing vocalist but she is also as a dope beat-maker pioneering her own unique blend of soulful bedroom music.
The creative bug bit her in her adolescent years and it is then where she realized what her calling was. “I’d say in primary school around grade 7, I remember a time we were in a train from Pretoria with my aunt and my cousin, and I started singing about the journey and about the train. Later on my cousin and some people on the train joined. That was the first time I made a song and ever since then I’d write songs and record them on my mother’s phone and make beats using whatever was around me” she relays the story of how she realized that she had the gift of making music — a moment that truly defined her journey.
Having realized her talent, she had to now focus on nurturing this gift and teach herself the practice of music creation. Speaking on how she developed her own unique process of creating music, she says: “I particularly loved using glasses filled with water because I had seen a teacher of mine teach this technique to her music students. It was very calming too. Music was always such a distraction. I’d have to study but instead I’d be writing songs and trying to find the perfect melodies for the songs. After a some time doing this, I realized that all I wanted to do was write songs. It is an undisputed fact that music carries healing capabilities that heal both the creator of the music and the person receiving the music. On music’s healing power and role it has played in her life, she says the following: “music helped me through some tough times in my life and being able to write as a form of healing really revealed to me how important music had been in my life. I wondered how I would have coped if I had not had access to music. So the day I found myself recording a song on my phone at 3 in the morning instead of studying I knew that this was my calling and I’d do anything to fulfill this dream.” Music being a calling became apparent as she transitioned into young adulthood.
Navigating the music world as a young women of colour can be quite an excruciating and uncomfortable process as you are constantly met with many challenges and Kah e Lah is no stranger to these challenges. “I’ve always found it so frustrating having to ask producers for beats or when I do work with them, some would want to make the song theirs and not give me any room for my creativity. Some just wouldn’t work with me as soon as I made it clear that I meant business and we had to keep things professional. Being broke didn’t help either, because there was no benefit and I guess they didn’t see it worthy of their time to do work for ‘free’. I always knew and still know my worth so I will never compromise myself for music as it’s always in me and being patient has allowed me to preserve myself and my talent. ” These challenges which hindered from creating the way she wanted prompted her to find alternative and more DIY ways of taking ownership of the process of creating her music. “As fate would have it, I was on Google Play Store once and I saw an app Bandlab where I can connect, create and collaborate with other musicians”, she explains how finding an app helped her create despite her circumstance.
The power of technology and the internet is stupendous; allowing musicians to create from the comfort of their own homes using tools that are accessible to them such as their smartphones. “One day I just decided to upload one of the songs I had recorded onto SoundCloud and the reaction was positive, so I kept on making these beats on Bandlab and I kept using my earphones to record. I uploaded more songs and the response has been the validation that my ingenuity is the biggest resource I have at the moment. The app has helped me to put out my own ideas and to really trust myself when it comes to my music.I can do this and being able to take creative control over the music I want to put out is very empowering. ” Taking matters into her own hands has allowed her to be a more conscious, process-driven, educated and business-minded that is well versed in the workings of creativity as a practice and a medium of expression. Although her moves and efforts may be seen as small to some, there is no doubt that as Kah e Lah matures in her art, she will be a force to be reckoned with.
Follow her on SoundCloud here.