Five years of raw local talent: Lefto talks ‘Made In Belgium’

Pictures by Daniil Lavrovski & Luka Host

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For the fifth consecutive year, Red Bull Elektropedia, Democrazy and Lefto team up for an evening of crisp bedroom beats. A selection of 8 local acts (bands, producers, vocalists and beatmakers), each with their own extraordinary talents, will grace the brand new NEST in Ghent with a string of unique performances. Since this is a special anniversary edition, we felt that a couple of extra words by the master selector that is Lefto are in place.

If we remember correctly, this is the fifth edition of ‘Made In Belgium’. Are you still able to find some promising talent in this country?

"It is a question I ask myself quite often but then there’s always someone new that pops out of nowhere. Sometimes they are producers who hit me up with their productions to be played out on my Studio Brussel radio show, sometimes I get a tip from a friend or someone from the music industry. It is not easy to discover all that talent by yourself as they usually are very local, so having connections and friends in different cities is very important. I’m grateful to have likeminded people who help me out."

Which previous artists are you most proud of to this day?

"I am proud of every artist who has performed at Made In Belgium - but not only them. There are probably a lot more artists out there that deserve to be on that stage, deserve the spotlight, but unfortunately we can’t cover them all. Luckily, there are other platforms who promote upcoming local talent, Studio Brussel has ‘De Nieuwe Lichting’, but there are online magazines like Flus, Chase, The Word and others who are active and promote new local acts 24/7. Le Motel is doing just fine these days, so are DVTCH NORRIS, Brihang and Woodie Smalls. Shungu produces for international rap artists, Kassett and Title found their way internationally as well, LTGL got his music played by his favourite artists. I mean, there’s a lot of local talent doing just fine."

Can we expect anything different in the format compared to previous editions?

"This year we are going to NEST, a new temporary venue in Gent, which gives us the opportunity to add more acts on the bill. We always try to find different ways to promote the artists, to introduce them in the most interesting way to the audience out there."

Can you give us a short overview of who you selected for this year’s edition, each with a short presentation?

"So first, I got Collective Conscience, an electronica band from Antwerp with jazz and hip hop influences. Some of the members even play out with Coely. Roselien Tobbackx has been on my radar for some time and I think she’s finally ready. She sings, plays guitar and already collaborated with artists like Pomrad. Le 77 is a rap group from my area in Brussels – one of my favourite rap collectives in the capital. They hang around with Zwangere Guy a lot. Their second album is ready to be released. Bavr, Thumez and Vicking Groovy are three young producers with a modern sound. It is always important to cover all aspects of music, so finding these producers was important. Madame Blavatsky was a German-Russian novelist, but it’s also an electro-acoustic band from Ghent. Lastly, 2 Times Nothing are a young funk-jazz band with hip hop influences.

I’m really excited to see all these bands at work, it will be a marathon of young upcoming talent and yes, it’s free entrance for everyone, so feel free to bring your family!"

Made In Belgium, Sunday, October 8 at NEST in Ghent. Click here to RSVP. Free entrance.