Western Sydney producer LESI pioneers a new genre for the Australian scene
Western Sydney producer and engineer LESI, has just released a monumental spin on R&B entitled ‘Back to your arms’. Originating in England in the early to mid-1990s, UK Garage is a fresh genre to the Australian music scene that slightly differs to the familiar sounds of House and EDM. Taking inspiration from genre pioneers Duke Dumont and Hooligan Hefs, LESI’s sound is heavily influenced by UK Garage.
“The UK music scene has always been trying new stuff. The majority of genres just keep branching off and branching off, making their own new sub genres. It’s something new aye, it’s like a whole new sound.”
Despite only discovering UK Garage a couple of months ago, LESI couldn’t help but be drawn to the unique production on show.
“I just fell in love with the sound because I had never heard of it before, and I just kept listening to it and looked up the history and all that, where it started and what it sounds like now. The UK sound is just crazy man.”
Spawning from a passion for Deep House music, LESI created ‘Back to your arms’ 7 months ago in March 2021. The track went through 3 different production stages with completely different basslines and LESI chose the one that spoke to him the most. And by pairing the Garage-influenced beat with female R&B vocals, the song effortlessly engages listeners.
The producer highlights that the Australia scene is consistently embracing new genres from around the globe and putting their own spin on it.
“We adopted Drill from the UK, there’s no reason we can’t adopt Garage. Becca Hatch has made a lot of recent tracks with that liquid drum and bass type beat, and it just goes to show that everyone's hearing new sounds in the UK and it’s starting to pop off.
“It’s unique and there’s definitely a niche out there, people just don’t know it yet.”
LESI stands out in the Australian UK Garage and House genres, not only due to his mix of influences, but in how his approach to music differs from those of a similar heritage who are currently in the scene.
“Honestly, the majority of Polynesians are in the whole rap game, but you know the House scene is not Poly-based. That’s the thing I like about it, because it makes me stand out.”
LESI began making music in high school and has been producing ever since. He initially made Hip-Hop beats but didn’t have a passion for it, and decided to pursue his own House sound. Growing up in a Tongan household, LESI has always been influenced by music. Both his father and uncle (of which he got his name from) moved from Polynesia to Australia while in a band.
“Music’s always been in my blood,” LESI explains.
“I’ve got a volt full of House tracks, and I’ll kind of pick which one is right for where I’m at in the scene. Oh, get ready for some disco indie, it's so different but man I just work with it.”
In the future, UK Garage, House and R&B fans can expect to see a lot more from the Western Sydney producer. Whilst diverging from mainstream bangers to form his own eccentric sound, LESI is bound to be a part of the new wave of Australian music.
Words by Violet Murphy