Out of everyone we have interviewed on Repeat, Lesane is somewhat of an anomaly. Hailing from Birmingham, but taking influence from our US counterparts, the artist has an inherent American sound, drawing inspiration from Chief Keef to XXXTentacion and even Michael Jackson.
Despite such a range of sonic influence, the artist has tailored his ear to a much darker sound. The vivid, ominous melodies on Sticks and Stones, fused with trap-tendencies, elicit his introspective narrative, and accommodate his dulcet tones. Lesane remains genreless, expecially within England's fruitful rap scene: such innovation has garnered him a lot of attention, both here and over shores.
To mark the wordsmith's latest single, iCarly, we had a chat with him about his musical beginnings, living in New York and who his dream collab would be. Read up below.
Lesane, what are you saying, what’s up? Introduce yourself and get the people knowing about you!
I’m all good, still alive still breathing, taking every day as It comes. I’m from a small neighbourhood called Handsworth and I make genre-less music.
Tell us about your new single, iCarly. How was the process of this single different to your others?
I couldn’t sleep one night because I kept hearing a melody in my head, so instead of fighting the fact that I wasn’t tired, I got out of bed and recorded it in my voice notes. The next night I was at a party and it was Hella boring, so I put my air pods in and listened to the melody I laid down the night before, as soon as I heard it I called an uber and made my way home to lay it down.
How would you describe your sound to people who haven’t heard your music?
I describe myself as Genre-less. One moment I could be on a melodic cloud rap record like iCarly, but then I can switch it up to Emo trap record like Graveyards. Personally, I love my emo records the most, because it helps me connect with people that go through the same things as me.
Your music evidently takes influence from sounds overseas. However, is there been anything about Birmingham that informs the tunes you make?
When did music making start for you? Was there a particular moment that ignited your love for it?
Music started for me when I was very young, I couldn’t write lyrics so I would beatbox and hum melodies. Eventually as time went on, the melodies I made started to have words, then the words started to make sense. I don’t really remember when I fell in love with music specifically but I remember when I was 12, my cousin Chami was about to leave my grand-mothers house but he seen me tapping on the table making melodies, he looked at me and said “One day you’re going to be a musician” he paused for a second… then closed the door behind him. 2 days later he died and that was the last time I saw him. Naturally his words held much more weight, so I think on a sub conscious level that led to my curiosity with music.
When you first started to write tracks, were your parents supportive of your talent?
My mum didn’t understand it in the beginning but eventually when she seen how serious I was she gave me her full support.
Who would you dream collaboration be, and why?
My dream collab would be with XXXTentacion. He was musically ahead of his time.
What was your time like in New York? It sounds like you were mad young when you jetted out there.
It was like a movie. When I first went it was the first time in my life where I felt connected to my story, it felt like I was always in the right place. Everyone in New York is chasing the bag and its inspiring, every place you go you see people that are going hard with whatever their passion is and it rubs off on you.
What have you missed most about normality during this pandemic?
I miss socialising. This year was finna be the first time I go to a festival and it sucks that it didn’t get to happen, but we move.
What’s next for Lesane?