Accompanied by a seven-piece live band, it is a refreshing musical experience that encapsulates Africa’s challenging past and its exciting future. Leomile’s musical tapestry is infused with lyrics that address important issues of identity and womanhood. Her treatment of these vital and often buried aspects of African life is honest yet ultimately charged with idealism and hope. This soulful songstress also incorporates spoken word elements into her performances.
PULA MOLOMO, Leomile’s debut album was launched in September 2016 in her hometown of Maseru and then at the iconic Bassline venue in Newtown, Johannesburg. The album is deeply introspective and filled with self-affirmations as she says it reflects on the processes of peeling away at herself to see herself.
It is a coming of age narrative and sonically it varies as such, borrowing from multiple genres such as Jazz as a stepping stone and venturing into African folk music – sometimes leaning towards country or soft rock. This unpredictability is held together by the consistent vocals of Leomile which navigate the notes of songs so tactfully that even mundane everyday experiences come alive.
At times, soft in her approach on ballads like “Fantasize” and the hit single “Lerato le Felile” the singer can just as quickly howl aggressively on “Song for Pulane” while praying for healing.
2016 has really seen the rise of Leomile as she continues to feature at high profile shows such as the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz. She has become a regular feature within the Johannesburg music scene playing Basha Uhuru music festival and headlining Soweto Arts and Craft Fair, Heart 2 Art at the Johannesburg theatre and many more.
Currently nominated for three awards including “Album of the year” and “Best newcomer” at the biggest awards show in Lesotho, the Ultimate FM Music Awards. She is gaining impetus and continues to hypnotise audiences. It is undeniable that her presence and contribution to the world of music is going to be monumental.
Who is Leomile and where were you born?
Leomile is a singer/songwriter and storyteller born in Maseru, Lesotho.
Why did you launch your album in Lesotho?
I felt like this album was one for Lesotho before it was for everyone. Like it’s just protocol to start at home before you go out into the world. I also feel very strongly about contributing towards growing the industry at home so I do what I can to add to the vibrancy of it.
After your launch in September, how are the people receiving your music? How are the sales? I’d say really positively. I’m always pleasantly surprised by people who reach out to me on social media to share how the album has touched them. As far as the reach of the album, I think it still has a lot of mileage on it and I’m enjoying watching its story unfold.
Who did you feature in your album, and are there any collaborations?
I featured Zelizwe Mthembu and Nkululeko Sithole. Both incredible musicians with their own budding careers and musicians I respect. I co-wrote some songs on the album with Zelizwe Mthembu, Thabang Noosi, Kenridge Rambao.
You studied film at AFDA, are in the film industry if so, which film have you worked in?
I studied writing and directing for a year and then I branched into Live performance so technically speaking I’m a film novice. I have worked on creating original music the series Doubt on Mzanzi Magic
Where did the love for music come from?
I guess from my family. Both my parents are musical. Mom’s a singer although she never pursued it professionally. My father is a music collector so he introduced me to a lot of different music and he’s quite the singer too.
What should people expect from you this year?
Some music videos definitely. I’m working on music but I don’t think it’ll be released this year. Definitely have interesting performances coming up later in the year so people should just follow on the social media pages to keep up.
“Young people aren’t a generic group of people so that’s tough. Not right now I don’t..”