When Fresh Lesokwane came into the scene as a kwasakwasa musician many dismissed him as a chancer who tried to milk the popularity of his more famous cousin, Frank.
This would appear as an unfair judgement and comparison, but when he failed to blossom as a recording artist it seemed his detractors were right to a certain extent.
Perhaps this was just a case of the musician choosing the wrong music genre for himself.
Quitting twerking and loose pants to venture into business, running the Jazz Brew franchise in Ramotswa and Mochudi seems to have given the former soldier time to find his right musical path. He changed to jazz and now looks set to stake a serious claim in the music scene.
The burly musician’s debut jazz album is due for release next month and promises to give established acts a run for their money.
“I think from the onset I was lured into kwasakwasa by the fact that a decade ago it was the most popular genre, not necessarily that I enjoyed doing it. For jazz, it feels like a calling. I have a very strong connection with this music and this is coming out in my album. It is a composition for both young and old, but it demonstrates some growth and maturity,” Lesokwane said.
Tracks such as Africa, Botshelo Go Monate, Ke A Lema and Maitshwaro in which he featured Skavenga, are just some of the most enjoyable pieces in the album.
Although he has switched genres, it is not easy for Lesokwane to just dump kwasakwasa. He has redone one of his old tracks Matshidiso featuring jazz maestro, Lister Boleseng.
The new track is a vast improvement from the original number boasting smooth instrumentation dominated by a deep bass guitar laced with a fastidious lead guitar and sporadic injection of air by Boleseng’s horn.
Lesokwane has a backing band called Rhythm Mates. While working on the new album the band organised a few gigs to introduce itself to the masses.
“We have not performed at any big events because we were still trying to put things together and now that the album is complete we are ready to appear on big stages.
We now gel well as a band and once the album is out it would be easy for the crowd to connect when we perform live,” he said.