Pic Courtesy: Lazarusman Insta
Lyricist and spoken word artist, Lazarus Mathebula, better known as Lazarusman, chats about what he’s learned from performing in different parts of the world, working on his debut album and explains what spoken word music entails.
By: Nobhongo Gxolo
1.How would you describe what you do?
I communicate the emotion of the music that I hear and perform in words. I think it’s a little more than just poetry.
2. You’ve been in the spoken word industry officially for almost a decade; what prompted you to work on your debut album now?
I felt it was the right time. The project was a milestone I needed in my life; a challenge that I had to take on. Working on an album isn’t easy. Having done it, I am surprised that people can release 2 albums each year.
3. You’ve toured internationally and locally; how are these spaces different?
Over the years, I found European crowds more open to my craft than South Africans. Dance music, however, has grown in leaps and bounds, and more South Africans have access to my music now, so the differences aren’t as huge as they were before. The same content that I cover in my songs works just as well at home. I saw the shift at Rocking the Daisies last year.
4. Do you have a 9 to 5 job and do you think art is a sustainable way to make a living?
I work as a copywriter and social media content manager. I mainly make underground music which has a small market. This means I can’t really make a living out of it.
5. Your upbringing wasn’t particularly privileged, yet anyone looking at your lifestyle now –hobnobbing with international artists and performing to crowds who fall into a trance under your music – would beg to differ. How do you reconcile these the two?
I simply don’t. I am clear about the fact that I wouldn’t be where I am if it were not for my parents and the people who have supported me over the years. If you truly know me and the hardships I’ve overcome, you will understand me. I’ve learnt not to live according to other people’s expectations. Just because people see you doing certain things, they think you live a certain way; it’s very easy to fall into that trap. The industry has taught me to always “do me” and be the best at that.
6. Are you living a dream?
Of course! I never thought that I would be a musician or travel the world and have fans from Moscow to South America. It’s unreal.
7. Do you pay much attention to your style?
I think I do, because it forms a very large part of my who I am and how I choose to be viewed. I have a sneaker collection, but it’s certainly not extensive; it consists of essentials.
8. How has being a father impacted your life?
It’s been amazing, but also extremely challenging. Being a parent as an artist means you are always walking a fine line. Anything I do today, good or bad, can have an impact on my child tomorrow. You have to find a balance.
9. How can you describe the last woman you would want to introduce to your parents?
I really have no idea. I haven’t given that much thought. Let’s chat again in five years; I might have something for you.
10. Name five tracks currently on your playlist.
a) Drake – Redemption
b) Tigerskin featuring Lazarusman – Golden Girls
c) Xinobi featuring Lazarusman – See Me
d) Stimming – Symphorine
e) Innellea – Saladin
You can listen to Lazarusman’s music on his SoundCloud.