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Leo to rock major SA festival

by Sunday Express
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Mohalenyane Phakela

LOCAL songstress, Leomile “Leo” Motsetsela says she will perform tracks from her upcoming album at the South African National Arts Festival to be held in Grahamstown, South Africa from 30 June to 11 July 2016.

The Johannesburg-based singer has been billed to perform at the festival, which is regarded as Africa’s largest and most colourful cultural event. The 11-day fete offers more than 600 shows from opera, live entertainment, drama, jazz, stand-up comics and folk music.

Leo told XpressPeople she would perform at five different shows at Rhodes Club and Slip Stream Bar from 6 – 9 July.

The Lerato Le Felile hitmaker said she was slotted in the festival after applying earlier this year.

“Artists have an opportunity to apply for a performance slot at the festival, which I did sometime in January this year. I received the response about a month later,” she said.

“I was excited to get the opportunity to perform in so many shows at the festival, which is something I did not expect. I believe they were enchanted by the way I sing and that African melody in my music.”

Although this would be her debut performance at the festival, Leo said she was more than ready to give her best.

“I have performed at other epic festivals such as the Newtown Festival and Jammin ‘N Tings here in South Africa, but this will be my first time at the National Arts Festival.

“Together with my six-member band, I am ready to rock the stage as if we have performed there before. Hopefully, we will leave an unforgettable impression on revellers that will have them talking about Leomile from Lesotho for a long time.”

The Thetsane-born singer said her long-awaited album would be released later this year. She made waves since launching her solo career last year with such singles such as Fantasize, Lerato Le Felile, One last Fix and We Must All Be Blind.

“I am currently working on a new album which is due in September, and I will be introducing some of the material at the festival as well as my other tracks that people already know,” she said.

Retracing her musical journey, Leo said it all started at the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA) where she was studying for a film degree.

“I started off my career as a first-year student at the University of AFDA in Johannesburg and decided to change my field of study from film to music after I realised that it was what I really enjoyed,” said Leo, adding that with time, she became a regular feature at popular Johannesburg club Baseline.

“It was a case of trial and error at first. However, I later submitted my demos at Bassline and they fell in love with my music. I have performed at the club on a number of occasions.”

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