Precious Mdlalose, popularly known as DJ LeSoul, chats to us about her career and passion for music. By Kwanele Mathebula
Image: DJ LeSoul IG
I was born and raised in KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal. I started attending church at a young age, and my father was a preacher. I was very active in the church; I played the piano, sang in the choir and danced. At the time, house music wasn’t something I considered going into. It was a completely new sound to me, but I loved it. Whenever I listened to it, I would feel at home. I enjoyed it so much that I formed a dance group with my friends, and I’d either be the dancer or DJ. A few years later, I saw a female DJ playing at a club. Seeing her doing such a great job inspired me to take my passion seriously.
The jukebox holds some of my fondest memories with music. There was a tuck shop next to my house that had one. And as a child, my friends and I would each have a chance to select a song, and dance away. I loved Bujo Mujo and Oskido’s Tribal Blast at the time, so I always annoyed my peers by requesting those two favourites.
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Playing the piano opened doors for me to become a DJ. After playing the piano for a few years, I started researching the different genres apart from gospel. I learnt about a lot of artists that I’d never heard of, and studied how they became great musicians so that I could emulate them. I then started producing and learning how to DJ. During this time, my family was concerned about where I’d end up with this sudden shift. But, my grandmother was always supportive, which helped. She’d wait for me to come back home from gigs in the early hours of the morning just to make sure that I got home safely.
Learning about DJing was a major hurdle. Gospel music was all I knew at some point in my life, and I regard that knowledge as a contributing factor to my music career. It taught me how to use my voice, harmonies and keys, etc. So, learning a new genre was hard. I also had to teach myself how to DJ well. Fortunately, because of my musical background, I was able to learn quickly. I’m the only female artist in the continent who is a multi-instrumentalist producer and DJ’s without headphones.
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I am proud of my single Lo. Musical duo Tzozo & Professor haven’t been in studio together for several years, and working with them has been a lifelong dream of mine. Bringing them back together with a more relevant sound of amapiano was beyond my wildest dreams. We made the song in one night, after spending the day together. They were such a pleasure to work with because I consider them my brothers, and they have always protected me. They are icons, and I’m grateful to have started ticking off my features wish list.
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I have three major career highlights. The first was playing at The Block Party 2018 with Black Coffee. I am inspired by his journey, and believe that I will share the decks with him one day. Another highlight was playing in New York and Turkey recently. The reception from the audience was incredible. It made me realise that I’m ready to take my music to the world.
I am excited about my EP. I’ve been in studio recording. I can’t wait to share what I’ve been cooking up. I currently have a single out and a song with TNS called Ayabonga. Both my singles are growing steadily, and I’m happy with how people are receiving them. My next is a Afro Tech song titled Godly Infection; a genre I believe I’m great at.