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Country Lesotho Genres urban roots electro fusion Website blackmajor.co.za /morenaleraba Festival Sauti za Busara 2021 Recordings Laliboi x Volume ft. Morena Leraba - Isigubhu Asipheli, 2020; Onipa ft. Syntax, Spoek Mathambo & Morena Leraba - Free Up, 2020
In recent years, Morena Leraba has emerged as a new flagbearer of a remodelled Lesotho sound through a brace of singles, collaborations and live performances. He has thrilled audiences at Banlieues Bleues Jazz Festival in Paris, Afropunk Joburg (2017 and 2019), MTN Bushfire (2019), Oslo World (2019) and Music in Africa’s online Vibrations Concert (2020). Leraba is now poised to take his music to a wider global audience, with a full-length album in the works that will provide a showcase for his singular sound.
As heard on songs like ‘Mpuli’, and ‘Impepho’, Leraba’s music mixes homegrown, traditional Famo-inspired vocals with electronic music, dub and echoes of hiphop, to create a psychedelic and entrancing sound that continues to develop and evolve.
Much of the mystique surrounding Leraba stems from his roots in Lesotho, a mountainous country where much of his youth was spent as a village shepherd, taking inspiration from the solitude that tending animals brings. “If you’re from Lesotho, being a shepherd is a common thing,” he says. “but I also went to school and then university.” Still, the experience remains pivotal. “Being alone in the mountains, you create your own stories every day, and I developed an awesome communication with nature and animals.”
For Leraba, retaining deeply-sunk roots in Lesotho is more than sentimentality: it’s the essence of his creativity. However, Leraba also builds off stellar contributions as made in other music projects, with Spoek Mathambo, Africa Express, BLK JKS, Onipa and others. As he prepares his debut album and moves into a bigger creative plane, this sought-after artist is driven by a need to reflect, in music, “our other-worldly journeys; our spiritual transcendence”.