Profile Interview: SA jazz musician Don Laka tells all on the #WeekendBreakfast

Donald Mahwetša Laka, also known as Don Laka is a South African jazz musician, songwriter and music producer. He’s also the owner of Bokone Music and co-founder of Kalawa Jazzmee.

In 1979, Laka obtained his license in music teaching but was prohibited from enrolling at the Pretoria Conservatoire due to the Apartheid laws.

Laka says that the song ‘Words’ talks about the power of words and the burning of journalist by the Apartheid government. He adds that instrumental music can be difficult to interpret because it’s not direct.

In the 1990s, after living in Germany and playing in a South African Jazz band, Laka formed an independent record label called Kalawa Jazzmee and produced songs by artists such as Brothers of Peace and Boom Shaka.

I need to go through a thought process when I create a musical piece because it evokes certain feelings and guides a certain melody says Laka.

I like to take weeks, maybe days out of a month just to read and inspire myself.

Donald Mahwetša Laka, South African jazz musician

My mother wanted me to have a piano but I was like no - because you cannot carry it around.

Donald Mahwetša Laka, South African jazz musician

Click on the link below to hear the full interview…


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