Getting groovy with BreakfastBoy

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Getting groovy with the one and only BreakfastBoy.
Getting groovy with the one and only BreakfastBoy.
Tholwana Ngwenya


Music may change, but clearly, the spirit of Fela Kuti lives on in the youth forever. As the youth fully embrace the spirit of nostalgia, we were able to catch up with musician BreakfastBoy, whose latest album is a personification of nostalgia done right.

My favourite thing is listening to a song before you know the artist, being completely mind blown and then looking at your playlist only to find out that it’s an artist you’ve always loved, with an elevated sound. 

Such is the case in my journey with musician Lesedi Sibiya, known more popularly as BreakfastBoy, an artist who I began listening to during the height of the pandemic. 

I first heard about him walking the halls of my university and was immediately drawn to the jazzy sound of his releases that were on SoundCloud at the time.  Since then, each musical production from him sounds crisper and more evolved than the last, each providing a different feeling and energy. 

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We finally sat down with the eccentric Sibiya, who told us more about his latest album, Lesedi, which pays homage to the enchanting sounds of Fela Kuti. The 24-year-old artist had an eclectic childhood, where he frequently moved between places. His first stops were the Sowetan townships of Diepkloof and Orlando, then various Johannesburg neighbourhoods; he even lived in Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal for a short time.   

Sibiya was raised by his single mother and four aunts, who he recalled being a “village of exceptional, highly educated and wise women”. The women, he said, propelled his understanding of resilience and emotion.   

 “My mom was my first inspiration. She taught me that not everyone would find beauty in how I shined. I had to shine brighter in those situations.  

“Growing up, I wasn’t very social. I loved reading and playing video games,” he said.

But what I loved most was the small grey MP3 player I got when I turned 11. It had so many songs my mother and aunt installed for me; R&B dating all the way back to the 70s—that enticed me.

Sibiya would then take the lessons of the women in his life, and the sounds of artists like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, Lebo Mathosa, Brenda Fassie and Boom Shaka to forge his own path in the industry.  

By the time Sibiya left matric, he was certain about what and who he wanted to be, and so his musical journey began. He started making music for his peers at AFDA in Johannesburg, a small university in the heart of the Auckland Park media hub.

Unfortunately, he soon realised that many of his peers were not taking his music as seriously as he was taking theirs and was discouraged from sharing his art with anyone else for a while.  

It wasn’t until he reached the end of his tertiary career that he started releasing music consistently. To date, the young artist has released three albums, with some additional offerings on SoundCloud. 

 “I remember releasing my first album, Tales Before BreakfastBoy, in 2020. It was so emotional. I was battling depression, and the lockdown made it worse. I locked myself in my room and just began to create a masterpiece,” he lamented. 

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His current discography includes more than 28 songs released to all streaming platforms, each of them holding a personal and vibrant sound. His latest release, called Lesedi, pays homage to the sounds of Africa, with a welcome electronic twist. The rawness of the lyrics sticks with the listener long after you set your earphones down. 

The message is always the same: love will triumph over any adversity. It's become a motto in my life.

This time around, Sibiya also shared a message of light, where he beautifully moves between joy, happiness and sincere pain. The first five songs sound almost like a love song to the world, where he finds beauty in the mundane.

The last five songs manage to consume you into his world, where it is clear he has experienced deep pain but was still able to find the light at the end of the tunnel.

Sibiya mentioned that this album was also his love letter to his grandmother who gave him the name, Lesedi. 

Unlike his other offerings, this time, Sibiya chose to go with an Afro-pop and electronic sound, a very different sound in comparison to his other offerings, which take on more of a disco feel. 

“This album just has so much breath. I wanted it to sound like a timepiece with some Fela Kuti at the helm of the inspiration.” 

Nevertheless, Lesedi is jampacked with various sounds like the disco sound of I Just Wanna (Be Sober), and Kaiendo, which I would consider the perfect lullaby and perfect transitional song to the rest of the album. The rest of the album includes some hip-hop, funk, R&B, jazz and folk sounds that just blossom with every listen. 

There’s something to be said about an artist like Sibiya, especially in the context of music today, where everything looks and sounds the same and trends trump authenticity. Sibiya is breaking ground with a new kind of nostalgic sound that reminds us of Sunday mornings.  

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Sibiya hopes to start a band, where he can lean more into instrumentation and spirituality. For now, though, he just wants to release some spicy visuals to his breathtaking musical offering. 

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