Interview by Visual Collaborative
October 2019 5 min read
Londiwe Ngubeni better known by her performance name Lolo, is South African based in Hong Kong. She previously performed with Disneyland and can found performing on various musical productions. As a feature in our “Supernova” interview series, Lolo discusses her relationship with music, the creation process, emergence from Durban and her dream to create her own music.
(VC) You performed in Hong Kong for Disneyland and many other activities?
(Lolo) I was discovered in South Africa Durban, where the organization holds auditions there every year. At first, I was did not want to enter because of the fierceness of the competition, I mean it’s one of the biggest companies in the world and so it’s almost every South African performer’s dream to work for Disneyland, but then a friend of mine convinced me a take a chance and I did. To my surprise, after a few months, I received a call and was offered the principal role Storyteller Rafiki on the Lion King Production. I share dates of my upcoming performances on my social media platforms, however these few months I’ve been doing more television and modeling, as well as working on my own music.
(VC) A perfect world does not exist, but if one does what core values would Lolo make a staple in the community based on your experiences in the creative sector?
(Lolo) I would give the opportunity and a platform to the deserving. Not saying that this is always the case but there’s too much nepotism in our industry. You find talented performers without work. Also, there’s a lot of exploitation where performers are underpaid for the work they do, and you find performers bankrupt and sometimes out in the streets. So I would create a network where performers won’t have to rely on big companies for production, marketing, etc
(VC) Given the rising despondency of the political movement in Hong Kong, as a singer-actress, are you more critical about your own career, or more optimistic given the trajectory of talks between the public and those who govern the region?
(Lolo) I’m not gonna lie I am shaken by the current situation in Hong Kong, but I’m blessed I have my job [Lolo laughs]. If I got up to leave, it would be a setback, given the progress I’ve made building my brand but I’m still young and I can’t let the current situation distract me from the bigger dream to make my own music.
When we are able to listen to a clean instrumental and come up with a melody, then you’re able to stay relevant with the choices you made, not just vocally but lyrically too
(VC) Most forward-thinking societies or cultures would agree that language is the key to integration. When it comes to music and its constant state of flux, do you lean more on your vocal abilities or musical instincts?
(Lolo) I would say musical instincts. When we are able to listen to a clean instrumental and come up with a melody, then you’re able to stay relevant with the choices you made, not just vocally but lyrically too. I am confident in having the kind of traits.
(VC) In your quiet or noisy moments, how do you stay inspired? What makes you create the work you do. Are you religious or spiritual like many artists for muses?
(Lolo) Yes. I am spiritual, I was born a church-oriented family. My father is a pastor so I was raised a Christian. But to answer your question, I’m inspired by many random things, random people, friends, family, situations, and moods. Even for your platform Visual Collaborative, for doing what it does. I could go on forever. I’m generally an observant person which has helped me creative wise.
(VC) What can you candidly tell young aspiring singers or creative professionals about success and risk in your industry?
(Lolo) First of all, I wouldn’t advise any person to get into this industry. But if they do, in this industry when you make it, you make it big, money comes fast and it goes fast, so I would advise making necessary means to sustain the life that comes with success. You don’t wanna work so hard to make it and then blow it to nothing.
(VC) Some mention different historical times as a period they admire for artistic vibrancy. If you can time-warp to any era, what time would it be and why?
(Lolo) For me, without a doubt, it’s the 90s music was so simple and with meaning and singers were actually singing not these auto-tunes.
(VC) At this stage of your music career, If you could perform with a specific organization or celebrity. Who would it be and why?
(Lolo) I would love to collaborate with Pharell Williams he’s music is lively and joyful and I think he’s a creative genius, Ed Sheeran is a good composer and storyteller and he seems humble and kind. Bruno Mars is a great performer I would love to share a stage with him.
(VC) What kind of music and work or impact can the world expect from Londiwe Ngubeni within the next 5 years?
(Lolo) Lucky nowadays we don’t need to be confined in one genre or sound. so the world can expect Afro Beats, Deep and afro house album that will make you dance in tears and produce my own stage play in Hong Kong with all races of performers.