As we are only a few days away from the rad Balkanology-Moskow Disko party, we thought it fit to introduce you to one of the acts performing on the night, Michael Lesar. So we caught up with him and this is what he had to say:
MA: Who is Michael Lesar?
MICHAEL LESAR: I was born and raised in Cape Town. In 2002 myself and 2 friends (Lester Wentzel and Ferdy Abrahams) started a Deep House Party called “Deep Heet Parteez”. I was the resident DJ at the parties, which were an immediate success, going on 2 become one of the top events on the CPT House scene. This firmly established me as a prominent figure within the genre the event had a successful run of 10 years straight and opened up lots of doors for me. I got to host and play alongside top International and SA DJ’s. I moved 2 JHB just over 4 years ago, arriving as a recognized DJ in the house scene.
MA: Who are your musical influences?
MICHAEL LESAR: My musical influences come from lots of different places, so when peeps ask me what style of music I play, I always say “good music”. I listen to everything under the sun that’s good, as there is good and shit in every genre! I first fell in love with jazz music, at the age of 18, which was the first time I felt a connection with music. I was listening to legends like Ray Charles, Charly Parker, George Benson, Stan Gets, Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong to name but a few. Little did I know that I would be playing some of their music 20 years later to thousands of young people across SA hehe. It’s so funny and YES, I am that old, haha. It was only a few years later that I was inspired to DJ, and it wasn’t any big International DJ’s who inspired me but the local guys on the CPT scene at that time like Ryan Dent, Peter Abrahams, Phat Jack, Marcy, Kevin Gray, Jody K, Craig de Sousa…. legends and good friends!
MA: How did you first ever gig go?
MICHAEL LESAR: My first gig was at my friend’s braais and birthday parties, this is how I got started. My first proper gig was at my own event “Deep Heet” with a top line-up, I was super nervous and messed up a few mixes but had a lot of support from my friends, so was okay in the end.
MA: What has you most excited about our local music industry?
MICHAEL LESAR: I love the way we are growing into our own and stepping out of the bubbles that cloud the industry. The SA scene at the moment is doing so well across the board, from bands to artists, across genres. It’s a very exiting time for SA, we are finally being recognized for who we are (our sound). Lots of big International acts are looking at our artists for inspiration, so I am very happy and exited about this.
MA: To date, what has been your best gig / achievement as an artist?
MICHAEL LESAR: Definitely playing to 18 000 people at the JHB Holi-One colour festival and also playing at 2 beach parties in Kopangan Thailand. I also enjoyed playing at the H20 events.
MICHAEL LESAR: No I haven’t played at a Balkanology party before, but I am very exited about this event. I have been supporting Balkanolgy since their first event in CPT, and I have been inspired by the likes of Toby2shoes and Ma’or, so yep, I’m very honoured to be onboard 🙂
MA: Are you working on any projects that we might be interested in?
MICHAEL LESAR: Yes definitely, my “Lets Swing It” party is turning 1 year old soon, so working on something very special for the next event (watch this space). I am also working on my swing band which will be launching soon. I have also just been made a partner/shareholder at the amazing JHB venue, MiHouse, in Selby. I am busy with some in-house projects there now, focusing mainly on the House scene.
MICHAEL LESAR: To be honest, I haven’t giving it much thought other than to be happy and to be traveling! I’m more focused on the present as the universe has a way of helping you along especially if you are on the right path. The thought of still doing what I love in 5 years time is enough for me.
MA: Where can people follow you?
MICHAEL LESAR: The easiest place would be on Facebook, through my artist page. My gig guide and mixes and stuff will always be available on there
Stay tunes as we will be giving away DOUBLE tickets tomorrow