Lazarus Mathebula aka The Lazarusman is a spoken word artist, who has collaborated with some of the finest in the house music industry.
I had a chat with him, well more an interview, with him, to find out what’s happening in The LazMan’s world and so forth.
My first impression of you is that you’re an exceptionally kind and trusting person. Do you always pick up strangers at OR Tambo International and then let them stay at your house?
Well I think it depends on how you define a stranger, this particular person you are speaking of, I happened to have had an enthralling series of conversations with before we met, so by that time the stranger tag had long been lost and the mantle of friend had been picked up. So yeah maybe I do.
Let’s take a few steps back. Who was your very first collaboration with and how did that come about?
I first collaborated on a track with Martin Stimming, I am sure most people know this by now, we did a track called “funk with me” which was my first ever release, I was just so happy to work with Martin that I gave him the vocal for free, I met Martin the same way I met you, via the vast blue rivers of Facebook.
Having had the privilege of really stepping into your world, It’s clear that making it in this industry takes a very long time and lots of hard work. With this in mind, how do you keep yourself motivated?
I won’t lie it’s very hard to stay motivated. The people I make tracks with often benefit most off the music we make together. So I am left at times to pick up leftovers and remain in the shadows as a lowly dark and mystical voice hahaha. I really love what I do I am very passionate about it, I’ve been a poet for over eleven years now so really the love and passion keeps me going, things won’t happen all at once I’ve learnt and maybe I may never get my big break but there are people out there who love what I do and that matters a lot china!
How do you go about penning the words to the songs? They are really deep [mandatory pun] and meaningful. Take “Change” or “Get Better” or “The Blackness” or your latest work with Tigerskin “What Is Real” for examples. What’s the thought process behind these gems?
Generally there isn’t a thought process, I realize that if I think about what I want to say I generally fuck it up, so I write from the tip of my consciousness where the ideas are raw and easy to access, I just get on the mic and rant really hahahaha
Leading on from that, “What is Real” for Lazarus Mathebula?
Hahaha family, friends, my daughter and music are very real for me right now, while people’s thoughts and their opinions of things they don’t know of aren’t real.
You’ve done work with Stimming, Tigerskin, Felix Cage, Till Von Sein, Cosmic Cowboys, and Aki Bergen etc. Who do you enjoy working with the most and what’s your favourite track[s]?
I have to say over the last couple of months it’s been Tigerskin, I am rarely ever in studio with him I think the only time we’ve ever worked together was for “what is real” He really understands my lyrics and knows how to drive them home, you know. Aki as well, he makes everything fat…
Do you find it offensive that you’ve collaborated with so many class acts internationally, yet have hardly done any work with local artists?
No not at all, in fact, people don’t even think I live here, so I am not offended by it. I am hoping it will change though.
How difficult is it to get a collaborative project with a local artist/label?
Well it depends on who it is, most producers and DJs in this country have reached stellar heights so trying to get hold of them is like finding the cure for AIDS, and you may get close but no cigar. I’ve sent out demos, emails, please call me’s, the whole lot and to no avail, but I can inbox the lovebirds and get a response in less than two days (hint hint)
Who would you really like to collaborate with locally as well as internationally and why?
I enjoy working with people whose music I really like, I collaborate with people I listen to so that is the why. I am hoping to collaborate with Phonique, Lovebirds, Black Coffee, Culoe [de Song] and Jullian Gomes. That would make my Sunday lunch hey…
You are quite the collector of the black stuff [vinyl], which is your favourite?
I must say, Bright star is my favourite record. It was a gift from a Croatian friend of mine, whom I’ve never met. Totally a collectors’ item, since Buzzin Fly is no more. Also my release on Mojuba with Goldwill, there was a red edition of that record, which sold out in a month.
I know you’ve been working on a live act incorporating the DJ aspect into your spoken word performance, how long before we see you doing more of this?
I’ve suffered a set-back with the loss of equipment and time as well so maybe at the end of the year when the universe has decided to favour me again.
It’s been a relatively busy last 18months for you. Trips to Europe and South America [Brazil] in this time as well as a number of EP’s released. This is only the beginning, right? What’s on the horizon for The Lazarusman?
Crossing fingers for an album release, I am fighting desperately to realize that dream, I want to play more and perform more. Generally I want to progress, websites, release a range of LazarusMan underwear called ” go long don’t come short” I still need to grow, lots to learn lots of mistakes to rectify.
Thanks for the chat, the brother!
Thanks Bradles 🙂