27 February 2013

Namibia: Popya With Lavrenty Smokey Repin

Russian born and Namibian by heart, Lavrenty Smokey Repin moved to Namibia with his father when he was just eight years old. Smokey has always had an immense love for music since he can remember, and in Namibia he recalls coming onto the local music scene at the tender age of eleven.

"I have always had the passion for music writing my first song when I was five and my first stage performance at the age of six, there was never a doubt in my mind that I was not going to do music someday." Smokey has schooled all around the country but moved to Windhoek when he was 17-years-old, to start off his musical career and to finish high school. "My parents have always been supportive of what I do and I remember at school they would allow me to go to Radio Rnergy, which was just around the corner for interviews or to studio quickly and come back to classes"

Smokey went to on to release his first single titled Wrong Things ft Gazza and Fiazel MC in 2010, which was an instant hit. For Smokey, working on his first single with such heavies in the game was a confidence boost and an invaluable experience. The following year Smokey took it easy on the music scene. In his final year of high school, and with some personal issues, it was a hard year for the young artist. "I tried to release but things where not just going my way, and having this constant fear of being a one hit wonder. But good things come with good time and a break came for me in 2013. I released Mamcita, which was a hit."

Since Smokey has been pushing forward, and released two albums, one a collaboration with Ru called Ice tea in November, and then his Debut album called Red and black in December. Smokey has been working on music videos for the album. "Music pulls people together and working with RU on a ten- track album was very experimental but at the end of the day we adapted to each other's styles and created something very new, and some incredible songs. I have submitted the album for the NAMAs (Namibian Annual Music Awards) and being so alternative I believe that is a risk kind of situation but it is go all in or go home. "

Red and Black took Smokey three years to complete, and was finally released at the end of December 2012. Having worked so long on the album, Smokey had a good time to perfect the songs and get the right people. Releasing an album there is never a right time, and come December 2012 Smokey decided to push and have his album out. "I have gotten a great response from the public, people love it but a little afraid to buy it at first, the feedback is overwhelming. People do not know what to expect, and basically think it might be for them but if you enjoy the likes of Gazza, Exit, Dogg and Jericho, you will like my album. It has something for everyone."

Smokey has grown tremendously over the past three years, and despite signing for some record labels, not much has come off it and parted ways. He now manages himself and is working on international deals to market and sell his music on a wider platform. "I have been thrown in the deep end and I have done very well. I trust in myself and my ability. I can't afford to relax and as a musician, we go to shows and party all the time. If I am not performing or recording I am using my creativity on something else."

Smokey's Red and Black album is out in stores already but he is currently working on a launch and a music video for a single, Ek raak hard(I am getting hard) and to promote his album. He will also start working on a new album towards the end of the year. "For upcoming artist, trust nobody and constantly push yourself and better yourself as nothing lands in your lap without hard work. Be a perfectionist, have a heart and follow your dreams."

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