From rap battles in the playground to blending traditional Afrobeat samples with contemporary hip-hop on his new single Kiss And Tell, South African artist Le Trev gives us an insight into his story so far…
Tell me a bit about your musical background and when you first started performing as Le Trev…
I began my musical journey in the east of Johannesburg at age 11, when myself and some schoolmates staged rap battles on the playground during lunchtime. We placed bets and the most consistent rhymer would take all.
At that time, I began writing the raps and melodies to stay ahead of the competition and that’s when the musical bug caught. I started performing as Le Trev at the school concert when I was in the 7th grade mid 2009 and have ran through many stages (literally and figuratively) since. I now identify as an afrobeat / hip-hop artist.
What’s the story behind your debut single Kiss And Tell?
Kiss And Tell is a single that describes the nature of my ideal romantic relationship. It sees my character addressing his lover about the importance of keeping things private but not necessarily under wraps.
What’s your writing / recording process like? Do you work alone or with a team?
Concepts and ideas come to me spontaneously while listening to other music, watching a movie, reading a book or merely contemplating my life experiences, thoughts and desires.
I usually record the melody on the nearest device I have access to and then have my full writing session at a dedicated time later on. When done writing, I book a session with one of my stellar producers / close friends Jillz and Climex. They make the magic happen.
I see you also present a radio show in Johannesburg. What’s your favourite music to play on the show?
This has to my favorite pastime after making music. I get to time-travel with my audience through nostalgic tunes and futuristic beats. I play anything past and present from our new and legendary South African artists, ranging from Pata-pata to Afropop to Kwaito to Gqom music.
If you could collaborate with any other artist, who would it be and why?
It would have to be Nigerian superstar Davido. I feel that he has taken African music to the world. I would learn plenty from him during that encounter about his creative process and his experiences. I’m 110% sure nothing mediocre would come out of that session.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
‘Everyday is a learning experience, look forward to making your next mistake and try not to make the same mistake twice. Do you have patience young man?’
What’s coming up next for LETREV? Are you releasing more music this year?
Definitely! More music, new visuals, new merch, new connects, more L E T R E V 🙂