Catching up with 2Lee Stark

From his popular single Off Boyz, rapper 2Lee Stark is getting ready to release his debut album Love is Love later this year. Picture: Supplied
From his popular single Off Boyz, rapper 2Lee Stark is getting ready to release his debut album Love is Love later this year. Picture: Supplied

Get ready to party hard at Welgelegen Manor with the Bacardi Holiday Club. Rhodé Marshall speaks to rapper 2Lee Stark about his career and set at the musical event.

Making its return for the second time, just an hour outside Joburg, Bacardi Holiday Club gives partygoers the chance to step outside the city and bask in the sun while enjoying 30 of South Africa’s best and most diverse music acts. Some #Trending favourites on the line-up this year are Sjava, Anatii, Da L.E.S, Ms Cosmo, DJ Speedsta, Heavy-K, Moonchild Sanelly, Priddy Ugly, DJ Milkshake, DBN Gogo, Ayanda MVP, DJ Dimplez and 2LeeStark – to name but a few.

Bacardi Holiday Club takes place between March 8 and 12 and is an all-inclusive (yes, that includes alcohol and food) festival retreat that’s held at the gorgeous Welgelegen Manor. To get ready for the event, we caught up with rapper and Off Boyz hit maker 2Lee Stark to chat about what we can look forward to on the weekend and in his career.

Q: What has success after Off Boyz been like?

A: We have been really blessed with a great run musically since the song was dropped. It has gradually grown on people and its popularity has made it a song that always gets the party going. This has allowed me to get more opportunities in various spaces, so I am extremely thankful for that joint.

Q: What have you noticed about your development as an artist following the release of your EPs Games and There May Be Wolves?

A: Before the Games EP and the There May Be Wolves EP dropped, I was really trying to find myself as an artist. Because I’ve had a great upbringing and can’t ever complain about my life, the whole balance with the right subject matter and rapping about what my life actually is about was a big challenge. After the drops though, I found the confidence in my voice to really be myself. My latest single Games Part Two is the culmination of all of that, so I’m very happy with my development and the sonic journey I have been on in the past four years.

Q: Tell us more about your debut album Love is Love.

A: Love is Love is my life mantra. I experienced a lot of negativity growing up, from being bullied to family trauma and a lot of heartbreak. I decided to channel all of that into something positive that we can all relate to – the story of love. The album will be a tell-all about my life, my daughter, the struggle of being a black man trying to make it and my relationships. I have gathered stories from the past ten years and packaged them into one body of work that talks about everything in a relationship. I’m a soft ass guy (he laughs) so it’s me being fully naked on the music. From infidelity to wanting to get married; it’s all there. The project will be dropping sometime this year. Making music is expensive so it’s been a long journey but we’re just in the final album process of cutting down from the thirty tracks that have been recorded and picking the best ones to remake again.

Q: What’s on your playlist?

A: Currently I’m revisiting mixtapes by Drake. I’m also bumping Stephen of Kent’s Neo Sapien experience project which is absolutely phenomenal! You should really give it a listen. I’m also bumping a lot of Tsukudu’s music. That kid is a genius with the production.

Q: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?

A: The biggest highlight is playing at every single popular music festival that I used to pay a ticket to attend. Outside of Joburg Day and Rocking the Daisies, I have been living my dream on both big and small stages that are close to my heart. Bacardi Holiday Club will be my favourite though! I was bummed about not making it last year, so this is really, really special for me.

Q: What can we look forward to at Bacardi Holiday Club, and what are you most looking forward to?

A: It’s going to be amazing! The experience alone is such a vibe because we all get to go on holiday together, so that’s already something to look forward to. Regarding the music, I am bringing a full band along for the show – it’s going to be stupid dope. We are premiering some of the new album material and also dipping in to more of the tracks we didn’t really get to vibe with previously. Also looking forward to a lot of energy during the set – the musical journey is going to be intimate and energetic, bringing the best of all my musical layers to the table.

  • Tickets are still available on howler.co.za for R1 250 per person that includes alcohol and food
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