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Monday, February 18, 2019
HomeVinylMusic NewsMichael Lesar is throwing a pretty awesome party!

Michael Lesar is throwing a pretty awesome party!

Michael Lesar! THE Michael Lesar! He’s throwing a party and it’s going to be great. We got a chance to speak with him about his Let’s Twist Again oarty at The Good Luck Bar tomorrow. Natrually we sent Richard in to get the full lowdown on all matters from settling the Cape Town/Johannesburg conundrum, how to keep one’s dreads in check and how to dance!

Richard Chemaly (RC): I’ve been playing sax for 14 years and back then I go not action as the sexiness in music still seemed to be in 2 guitars, a bass and a drum. Today, however, not only have jazz and swing become more popular but the SA scene seems to be giving it a distinctly South African flavour. I think of you and your fellow artists, the rise of the Orbit, the increasingly youthful crowd at the Radium…and now we have parties, like Let’s Twist Again dedicated to the stuff. To what do you attribute this rise in old time music appreciation?

Michael Lesar (ML): I think the love for vintage music has always had a big following in the past its just that there were no events to support the sound its just more trendy at the moment. There are a few reasons in my opinion that attributed to the rise in old time music appreciation – Fashion has played a huge part with the 1930s and 1950s making a huge comeback 50s rockabilly culture at the moment is huge all over the world. In the Swing ( 1930s ) scene the birth of Electro Swing has had a huge impact in making the 30s cool again with huge bands and artists popping up all over the world.Its so much fun to actually dress up to a theme and party the night away to vintage music its a nice change to the norm for some people and also the music was just so damn good its so difficult to not want to boogy and shake your ass to the  Charleston or the Twist!

RC: You’ve been around for awhile. I remember partying to your decks in Cape Town way back when I was in school. I usually ask artists how they remain relevant but with swing, I suspect it’s different because it’s still a novelty music in our discourse. I imagine finding interesting and old tracks to mix is important. How do you go about finding music to mix in the knowledge that your audience is still growing and somewhat fragile to the concept?

ML: Am i really that old lol! Well Electro Swing is way more that just a novelty sound at the moment its definitely here to stay there are lots of artists and bands releasing ” new / remixed ” Swing music all the time so its not that difficult to find. Its much bigger in Europe than in South Africa so yes it is a somewhat fragile sound i like to keep things fresh always making my sets sound different and fun i play a variety of Swing which consists of Original Swing, Swing Breaks, Swing House, Drum & Bass type Swing etc. Trying to keep things fresh has actually led me to launching my band Full Swing.

RC: Never have I had the opportunity to chat with somebody who went from Cape Town to Jozi. Usually it’s the other way around. What inspired the change of scenery and are you happier up here with us in the mountainless interior?

ML: Hahaha i get asked this question often well I can’t say that the one city is better than the other they are both beautiful in their own way and i love them both for different reasons it was more of a personal thing for me i love traveling so i just needed a different experience and Johannesburg offers a great platform to grow you brand in the entertainment industry so it was the obvious choice. Well happier is a state of mind its not like a wasn’t happy in Cape Town but Jozi has allowed me to grow as an artist and to successfully do it full time so this has made me extremely happy (hehe) besides it is such an amazing place a melting pot of cultures the New York of Africa!

RC: Since you’ve been in the scene for as long as you have and in various places, perhaps you can help me out with some advice. I’d like to know what ladies and gents find more attractive on the dance floor. Is there only one Twist move?  Our readers need your help on this one!

ML: Well let me say that there are no rules when it comes to dancing and having fun so what ever you feel at the moment is the right move! Just gooi with the beat and you winning!
RC: I’m certain the urge to jump in and twist with the crowd a bit must set in once in awhile. When you are taken by the desire to move your body, how do you protect your amazing dreads?

ML: Yes definitely more than once haha but they have a life of their own and usually just sway in the back ground to the beat best you get out the way if its a really good song lol!!

RC: You’ve been running your own  parties for years now, with your band, Full Swing. How do you distinguish Twist and Swing and why the progression?
MLIt’s easy, Swing music is from the 1920s / 1930s and twist is from 1950s / 1960s ( rocknroll / rockabilly etc ) they are completely 2 different sounds / styles and cultures. It was a good idea to launch the Lets Twist Again floor at the Lets Swing It events because they compliment each other so nicely. My band Full Swing is only about Swing music we are in the process of releasing our first single ‘ I’ve got rhythm ” watch this space *winks*
RC: What’s your prep regime? Is your set ready for Let’s Twist Again or are you going to wing it on the night?

ML: I hate planning a set in fact i have never ever planned a set in my life as you don’t know whats going to happen when you on the dance floor, i will never understand how some people plan their set at home and then comes to a party and plays the whole set as planned from no.1 to no.10  it doesn’t make any sense you are after all working with energy which can go in any direction it also makes it more exciting and fun for me to not have a planned set, how ever you have to be prepared that’s the difference just know where all you music is and then wing it from there.

Lets Twist Agian_1 Oct_CS5-07


Date: 1 October 2016

Venue: The Good Luck Bar

Time: 20h00

Tickets: First 250 FREE / Pre-Sold R100 / Door R120


Written by

Born and bred in Bloemfontein on a diet of cynicism, brandy and terrible literature, this little boy, disguised as a sane adult, takes comfort in knowing that the world is wrong and is set on proving it. Did we mention he's an attorney with a degree in economics? Rich quit his job, jumped on a train, currently pays rent to hold his stuff in Hillbrow and is actually the most non-attorney attorney around. He's a law firm specializing in Entertainment and Entrepreneurship. He's also moved on to Jack Daniels. You can tweet him @uncle_chem to find out about his un(self)employment adventures.