Interview with DJ Lolo
DJ Lolo is a 29-year-old singer who lives in the municipality of Lobito, in the province of Benguela,
Angola. He is the head of the family, father of two children and lives completely on his music, meaning that music is the main income for his family. His songs focus on themes of an educational nature, transmitting messages that hope to awaken society, especially the youth.
To read the first part of the interview, click here.
You are mostly known by people, especially in Benguela, as a kuduro artist. Do you work on other music styles as well?
I am versatile, I always try new styles. I’ve been learning from the styles I’ve already worked on to develop other musical styles. Actually, kuduro is the style for which people know me the most, but those who know me well, know that I also do rap, house and a bit of almost everything, taking into account what Angolan people like to hear most.
In general, what kind of message do you try to spread through music?
I like to encourage people. Each one of us has a life project, and, with my music, I simply bring encouraging messages to people. I also appeal for people to have a more lucid attitude, guiding them in having attitudes that benefit society in general. In short, I try to bring people profound messages.
Could you tell us a little about the song entitled “Respeita a tua Mãe” (=”Respect Your Mother”)?
Unfortunately, many people have the idea that the youth is stuck on drugs and alcohol, and they get this idea from the media. For me, while some young people are trapped in these vices, there are also lucid and struggling young people in Angola. So when I sang “Respeita a tua Mãe”, it was because I was aware that there are also young people who respect their mothers.
There is a message out there that the youth is fond of songs without messages and I, in particular, totally disagree with that. It is important not to generalize. Lately, a young guy told me he likes my songs because of the educational message they inspire, but I think that, in addition to this young person, there are many others who follow my same line of thought: young people with inspiring ideas and exemplary behaviour.
At the same time, I am aware that there are young people who need to listen to this kind of music to review their ways of living, because there’s definitely some youth that confuses the concept of mother. For many, the mother is someone who has an obligation to take care of her child and, later, the child does the same.
For me, any mother needs a retribution, a visible retribution in the attitude and behaviour of her child. Every mother would smile when she sees her son walking the path she had wanted for him. That will make her say: “it was worth having borne the nine months”; “it was worth having endured those “arreou, arreou”” (what women selling stuff on the street shout); “it was worth having bought, from those “arreou, arreou”, a ballpen to secure my son’s studies”. I have really seen young people like that, who strive to make their mothers happy. If there were no such young people, I wouldn’t have sung this song.
How has your career been outside the border?
I have received some calls from Mozambique, Namibia, Brazil, Portugal, etc… from people who like my songs and identify themselves in them. Those kind of things make me think that the work is going well, and I see that I’m heading in the right direction. I already have a bit of visibility, but I still have to work hard to get even more.
Do you live simply on your music? Or do you have another job?
Thank God, I live totally on music and I am very proud to say that. When I don’t do shows, I simply don’t have money, so I try and do everything I can for the shows never to stop. I’m investing a lot in my career and, unfortunately, sometimes the results are painful.
In entrepreneurship, I have learned that it takes investment to get good results, but this doesn’t always work. In any case, I am giving it my best, because it is with the music that I pay for my house, I support my family, I send my two children to study, etc… Therefore, I try to manage what I have earned from the concerts well. If I sing at a show and they give me 5000 Kz, I know that 2000 kz will go for the house and 3000 kz to the bank for the next video clip. Whoever sees my videos might think I have big investments, but no, it’s really just a management issue.
What are your expectations?
The economic crisis made my expectations smaller. I have more than five hundred songs released on the market. For 2018, I had prepared 30 songs and 15 videos but, unfortunately, due the scarcity of financial means, I couldn’t complete this plan. I went to the market in Luanda to promote my work and I did as much as I could, but I had to return to Benguela. Here, I’ve been promoting my music through social media and our informal market, where I have made 15 songs available.
I’ve also already started working for the songs of 2019. As I said before, I don’t do any other job aside from music. Therefore, my expectations for next year are to work harder to win the largest number of audience and have visibility across borders.
Written by: Armindo Segunda