Morena North – A New Head Bopping EP.

Official EP cover

The government name is Leroy Hlalele, but “North The Jap” is his popular stage name. Born in Tembisa, but now based in Midrand, North started his producing career almost a decade ago in 2009.

His inspirations and influences are oddly intriguing, “my inspirations come from traveling, from midrand to jozi, seeing all the tall buildings, taxis hooting, people going to work, street vendors working for their children, taxi ranks, and all” says North, but after we were hit by this national pandemic North says his main sources of influence to keep working has been a toy game called ‘Ludo’, “On two of those three cassettes there are motivating words, that are the reason I am always up on my work, and keep going hard.

North has blessed us with multiple bangers including “Juluka Bamphethe” featuring Suup Zulu, “Shine” with Motaki Motswakwa and not forgetting “Ha e duma ya tsamaya” that dropped in 2018 from the “Off-days” EP. North The Jap, released his second EP yesterday titled, “Morena North” under his label, Native Mnandi Sounds. This body of work has a total of three songs. This is how North explains the overall sounds of the EP and each sound of the three tracks:

Source: Instagram

Mukondeleli: Can you describe the sounds on “Morena North” EP.

North: The sounds on “Morena North” EP project, are very different, they describe me. The slow tempo vibrations/sounds always get to me and sometimes i feel like these kind of vibrations are timeless. Fast life is never good, but taking your time and enjoying the process, is all i’m about. I call them ‘The 101s’ because the tempo of the songs is 101 BPM (beat per minute) which adds up to being healthy on the human resonance.

On the first track “Morena North” i decided to play around with some Egyptian drums, and hear how will it sound if i can just add those drums. I just love the Egyptian music when it is performed live. Using those elements plus the South African kwaito elements, created an amazing sound that i imagined.

Source: Instagram

Second track “Unshazamable Tjoon” is more like Papa ‘Vinny Da Vinci’ type of style, but with 80% my style. I love the melodic rhode sound, flute, bells and the heart of every song, the bass. It reminds me of when i was introduced to Papa Vinny Da Vinci, shoutout to my brother for plugging.

Third track “Africa Is Not A Lab”, on that song i was really mad at how the neighboring continents think of us. And that is when I pulled out my African guns in my folder named “African Guns Kit“, that is where I keep already recorded instruments sounds. Africa has amazing sounds, and we can just create any sound from anything, that’s how we Africans are so creative. The sound is angry/mad and it is ready for war.

If you haven’t listened to the EP, here’s the  Spotify link below.


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