Interview :: Lamtech
March 22nd 2012
IMAGE FROM LEFT: Isata Bangura (Sierra Sisters), Toby Burvill (O Squid, Tobio), IB Jumbo, Fatmata Bangura, Lamtech, DJ Funzo, Billy K, Yarrie Bangura (Sierra Sisters), Hawanatu Bangura.
For the past week, your ears have been treated to something ROAR*. We have been proudly featuring the debut release from Lion Mountain Studio as our album of the week – a compilation called ‘Sounds of the Lion’. Run out of what is essentially a cupboard at Marrickville’s Radio Skid Row, Lion Mountain is more than just a studio – it is the weekly home of a group of inspiring young producers and MCs, who have come a damn long way to get there. All the way from Sierra Leone, that is, Lion Mountain itself.
A slew of Sydney musicians have gotten on board with the project, with the likes of Seekae, Killaqueenz, Thomas William and members of the ONEOFOUR Collective all helping out on beats. We don’t need to tell you how much they’ve accomplished, you can hear how impressively professional the production is for yourself.
The compilation launch coincided with the debut single release for one young Lion Mountain MC who you’ll want to keep an eye on. Lamtech, with his get-off-your-ass-and-dance track ‘Hey (Yeah)’, brings out all the bold, raw (ROAR!) energy of the project. He took some time out from making freakin’ awesome tunes to talk to us about his time with the studio, Sierra Leone culture and new album plans.
How long have you been in Sydney for?
I’ve been here 8 years, I came over from Sierra Leone via Guinea in 2004.
How did you first get involved with Lion Mountain Studio?
In 2009 I first came to some community meetings about creating a new music program and finding a space to share, Lion Mountain came out of these meetings.
Briefly, can you take us through a session at the studio? What happens there each week?
Some of us will play music we have worked [on] during the week and then we sometimes will start working on song-writing for that music. It’s different each week, often there will be workshops about a specific way of making music or performing. Sometimes we will be all working as a group on LMS anthem type tracks.
Were you interested in making music before you started at the studio?
Yes for sure, I was writing lyrics for beats since 2006.
How is your sound influenced by the culture and music of your home – Sierra Leone?
Coming from Sierra Leone makes me to create positive music, I still sing and rap in Krio. I would love to go back to Sierra Leone and set up a studio there to help others make music.
Who has been the most inspiring person/people to come through the workshops?
All the volunteers have been very inspiring.
What was the first song you wrote like – if you remember?
In 2006 I wrote a song, recorded in straight into an old laptop rapping into its mic. It’s so long ago I don’t remember what it was about!
You’ve just released your first single – what’s the plan now?
I’m finishing a solo album, nearly all the tracks are finished, mostly just needs to be mastered now. I want to play lots more shows and get my album out there!
You can download the album from the Lion Mountain bandcamp for a PRICE YOU NAME – gotta love that! Or you can get the physical CD – complete with badass lions designed by Jozz Scott – for only 12 bucks. For more info on the project, head towww.lionmountain.org.
* Yeeeeah, been wanting to make that pun all week.