BUDDING guitarist, Lehana John “LJ” Lehana, is set to test the musical waters with the release of his debut single next Friday.
Born and bred in Katlehong, LJ describes his music as a fusion of Afro Pop, Soul and Jazz which he mostly sings in SeSotho.
His musical journey started off at a Catholic Church in Ratjomose village, although it took him a while to gain the confidence to become a performing artiste.
According to LJ, he was mentored by Jazz maestro Fatere who nudged him out of his comfort zone.
“I once asked Ntate Fatere how he started music, and he told me that ‘music starts at church’, and that is where I started too,” he said in an interview with the Weekender this week.
He also draws inspiration from the likes of Bhudaza, Tsepo Tsola and Ringo, with his compositions mainly about love.
“Love songs are not that common on the local music scene, hence my choice to focus on that realm,” said LJ.
“I believe my music is original and, since it is mostly in Sesotho, it also pays homage to my roots.”
He said the single, titled Ke Oa Hao, called for love and harmony within society, and was the first of many to be released over the course of the year.
“I have enough material for an album, but I first want to study how people react to my sound,” LJ said.
The crooner is currently based in Bloemfontein where he is furthering his Computer Systems qualifications and studying to become a Cisco Certified Network Associate at CTI College. He said the stay in the South African city had spurred his musical passion.
“I learnt to play the acoustic guitar during the first year of my studies in Bloemfontein after befriending some guitarists. With the first pay cheque I got during my internship at a factory there, I bought this baby,” he said, pointing at his guitar.
LJ added that he hoped the upcoming release would open doors for financial support and enable him to perform at major events.
“I had planned to record my music using live instruments but due to lack of funds, I had to find a producer who electronically incorporated other instruments to my guitar sound,” he said.
“I also aspire to perform at epic local shows such as LETOFE and Summa Feva, but the problem is people do not know me yet, hence I am denied access.”