“It’s all just happening so fast!” Then he started to laugh as he opened that night’s London Paper to show me a paparazzi photo of Lindsay Lohan outside China White the night before. And there in the direct background was the distinctive rasta-styled statuesque dreadlocked DJ Mo Laudi.
The character of Mo Laudi was conjured into being when he moved to the UK in 2000 from his homeland of South Africa. The name itself is his family’s clan name, a name of praise, much like Mandela’s clan name of Madiba. ‘Mo Laudi’ means leader. Leader of the fusion hip hop kwaito house music revolution? Yes! Mo Laudi grew up in one of South Africa’s townships where the intriguing uniquely South African music genre of kwaito evolved. Kwaito is best described to my understanding as ‘slow-pitched locally-produced house music that’s become the post-apartheid youth soundtrack for South Africa.
And what Mo Laudi makes of all this talent is to be a mixer extraordinaire – a creative artist in blending all things audio. (and known at times to dabble in other arts such as painting and appreciating the viral arts of graffiti!) While chatting, he suddenly switched the topic with a sparkle in his tone to ask me if I’d heard about the ‘mix tape movement’ – an underground movement where DJs record their own vocals and create versions of a known track and then circulate it on the underground DJ scene. Tracks earn their fame as they are played, requested and passed on by word of mouth – and ultimately the producer is sought after as popularity for a track grows! Hmmm, kinda like the Banksy of the house music world!
But exactly who is Mo Laudi?
He is DJ. Rapper. MC. He is resident at many clubs across London. And has played around the world. His ‘day job’ is his deejaying. He’s that good. “I love this life as I get to freestyle how my day unfolds,” enthuses Mo Laudi while freestyling his hands in a smooth flowing wave motion. He also used to rap in a UK-based band called Weapons (originally known as Weapons of Mass Belief when the play on words was cool and not corny!). But what Mo Laudi loves doing most is creating music. Mixing. Merging. Producing. Creating awesome sounds from samples and beats, Mo Laudi style. He has also worked on the now off-air online station Radio SA and he’s written as a freelance journalist for the now defunct SA Times. And let it be known that you heard it here first – Mo Laudi will be mo-rapping his way in the written form on these very SAPromo pages soon!
And what does the real Mo Laudi want to ultimately do?
“To be the biggest DJ in the world of course!” comes a straight no-effort answer with a smile. And then he added, almost beauty pageant-esque… “And I want