10 years of Donald │ The art of longevity

As we entered the studio, I saw a cake and I thought they were celebrating your tenth year in the industry.

Yeah, 2019 is quite a big year for me. This year we are celebrating ten years so I decided to do my first big show that launches the concept “Ten Years of Donald” and I decided to do that in February on the 16th which was on the valentines’ weekend. I created this big party and the line-up that features some of my biggest friends from the industry. I had Prince Kay-Bee, DJ Tira, Kwesta, Ricky Rick, Zanda Zakuza, and many other artists.

You said you are trying to recreate the concept of baby making type of music and it’s been debated that we’ve lost that sound of soulful vibes.

What I’m doing is slightly different, so I’m not doing it in a very RNB like Usher or Chris Brown kind of way. I’m doing it in a very South African way, I’m bringing that baby making music on to House music. It’s a House song but the subject and the way I sing it just tells you it’s that time because you know us South Africans, we love dance. I decided to mix all that to make be a beautiful song.

What is the concept behind this whole ten years’ celebration for Donald as solo artist?

I think for me Ten Years of Donald represents inspiration and I want to bring back hope to young people who have lost some hope in making their dreams come true. I want to show them that by the way, it is possible to do whatever it is that you want to do and be consistent in it and do it for as long as you want to. You never have to fear because you’ll never get another opportunity. I didn’t necessarily plan; I didn’t say that I’m going to be here for a long time in the industry, but I knew that if there’s one thing that I don’t want to do is anything else but music. So, nothing will stop me from making my dreams come true. I’m here for the long haul, I mean I’m here to become the next Hugh Masekela and the only way to do that is by making sure that I’m as focused as I can.

What could you say has helped you stay so long in the industry?

I think it’s a combination of a lot of things. First of all, you need to be a fighter, you need to fight for Your own space and you need to keep fighting, you never stop fighting. For me it’s much deeper than that, I think most importantly you need to keep people listening to your story. The minute you don’t have anything to say is when people aren’t interested in hearing you. So for me it’s always about my story, what is that I’m going through currently, what is that I want people to know about me as a man. Right now in this moment I’m growing up, I’m becoming a man who is ready to be a father to someone and that’s why I’m making songs like “Let’s make a baby.” It’s funny and everything but it’s actually a very serious thing for me. I’m growing up man, and this is the time when I can tell my people what I think about the journey of love and how to treat a woman. That’s why I’m working on my album that’s going to come up this year.

It’s actually my fifth official album where I’m actually dedicating the whole album to women in general it’s called “her name is” aimed at bringing back the meaning of a name to a woman because I feel like a lot of women struggle with self-worth, self-love and identity. A lot of them don’t believe that they matter so with this album I’m trying to say is that if your name is Lerato you must know that Lerato is a queen. This explains where I am right now as a man, I could be a father to someone and I could be a husband, that’s where I’m at. When you’re a father and a husband you don’t do irresponsible things, you are a responsible man, you do things the right way. That’s my message right now and I think that’s what keeps you going as an artist to be able to tell your story.

How far is your album right now?

The album is halfway, possibly over 50% maybe. It’s tough to create an album I can tell you that right now. You need time, you need to be in the right space of mind also, creatively you need to come up with something amazing that is going to change the culture because right now if you can’t create something that’s going to change culture or that has some sort of an impact to the culture then no one would be interested in listening. I’m trying to make an album like that and that’s why I’m going for an inspirational album because I’ve been here for so long and lot of people see me as an inspiration. I want to say yes I am an inspiration and it’s okay to say I want to be a legend. I think a lot of us are scared to say I want to be a legend so the only way to become a legend is by working towards being a legend. Look at how the other legends did it. So yeah man, I’m taking my steps to making sure that one-day people remember me and they never forget.

In the album who do you feature? Currently I’ve made music with DJ Tira, Zanda Zakuza, Prince Bulo, Mlindo the vocalist who is literally the new kid in the block and Dr Moruti. I’m still going to make song with Thabsie, Matema and my Nigerian queen Tiwa Savage, and if everything goes well I will also make a song with Mr Eazy.

It sounds like the album the sound is not definite. Yeah, there’s going to be a lot of mixture. The reason is for the first time in this country I’m releasing a double disc and the one side of the disc is going to be house music and the other side of the music is going to be all the other genres you can think of in one CD.

For your fans who have been supportive since day one, what would you like to tell them? I would like to say “thank you.” The simplest thing one can do when you recognise just how important the support you received is. I know a lot of my fans know me now more than ever before because I do express myself to my fans a lot just so they understand what kind of man that I am and “thank you” is one thing that I will always say because I know that I wouldn’t be able to do what I do and achieve it without their support.

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