JERRY ‘Doglander Dee’ Madubela has worked hard to reshape Lesotho’s music industry over the past 10 years, establishing Spring Lights 1307 last year — an outfit which serves as a platform for most music genres.
Born in Khubetsoana “in the early 90s”, Madubela’s love for music started at an early age as he listened to the likes of South African artistes Rebecca Malope and Vuyo Mokoena.
After losing his mother in 2001, Madubela’s father remarried and the family moved to Botswana where young Jerry met Chantty Killah and the two formed a reggae band, drawing their sound from the late South African artiste Lucky Dube.
In 2004, Madubela moved to South Africa to stay with his grandmother in Johannesburg, where he subsequently worked with the Meloding Jazz Band for three years.
Madubela also worked with popular Lesotho rapper Papa Zee during his stay in Johannesburg.
However, Madubela’s place in the music hall of fame was sealed when he worked with Dunamis in producing The Glory and the Streets, which featured the banger Stay Fly in 2011.
“After that, my name was on every local radio presenter’s lips; that was when people started saying, ‘the dog has landed, all the way from Botswana and South Africa’.
“This gave birth to the pseudonym, Doglander Dee, which I use as my trademark,” Madubela told xpressPeople.
While still based in South Africa, the Doglander Dee teamed up with T-Mech and RMC to form the now-sought-after MIP (Magic In Progress), releasing the single Unite.
In December 2012, Madubela returned to Lesotho and released Ashwela Dikano — a moving gospel compilation.
Madubela’s faith in God and passion for music have helped keep him going, as well as his association with respected music personalities such as afro-jazz stars Fatere and Tšepo Tsola, as well as famo artiste Morusu.
“With the mentorship of Tšepo Tsola, whom I see as a father and friend, I was able to spread my wings, forming Spring Lights 1307.”
The company focuses on the music and media industry in general, and Madubela recently shot a movie, Rap Money, which portrays the wickedness money can cause to young stars in the music industry.
“My dream is to see the local music industry grow, but this will not be possible for as long as we have self-centered individuals in this sector — people who just wake up one morning and think they can sign. Such people just go to the studio to record a song before they can learn the rules of the music industry.”
Madubela also said for the music industry to develop, stakeholders such as the government must also play their part.
“For as long as government is doing nothing to make sure that artistes are paid royalties for their creative work, we are going nowhere,” Madubela said.
“For as long as Basotho and Lesotho businesses don’t give enough love and support to local artistes, we are going nowhere. Artistes should also come together as one to share ideas and stop pointing fingers, because that will get us nowhere.
“Also, I think radio stations must hire competent librarians and compilers that have better judgment on whether the music qualifies to get airplay.
“Again, radio and TV-presenters should stop the bias of playing the same songs all the time, and that is where a compiler is needed to make sure that does not happen.
“I am saying this because there is one big, local radio station whose presenter, whom I am not at liberty to mention by name, plays one artist every Sunday.
This presenter plays the full album of that artist and no one will say a thing. “But if we work together, I believe we will conquer.”