There is a point in life when we begin to unravel who we are, who we want to be and what most drives us when we wake each day. For Arish Sirkissoon, better known as Lx Seth, this realization took him on a journey riddled with hard work, long days and solitude that has today heralded him the title of recording artist/songwriter/music and film producer/academic/business man /entrepreneur and most recently the head of the AFDA School of Business Innovation and Technology (School of motion picture).
But the tedious journey to gaining these achievements do not come easy at all, as Lx Seth most eloquently put it, “Looking back now, I had a very small friend circle, success is a lonely journey. You spend a lot of time in isolation.” When we stand in the tide of the now, listening to the journey that Lx has walked through, I am prone to realize that the isolation and lone times have masterfully painted the current picture of success, maturity and well earned skills that has proven to be gainful, not just to him, but the many people he is now focusing on extending his knowledge and skill set towards.
When Lx stepped into onto the grounds of tertiary education in the field of social sciences, there was a sense of in-completion that constantly nagged him to pursue his musical passion. But at 19, his confidence levels needed much of a boost in comparison to the strong willed artiste he is today. And so, Lx Seth started off as a producer, visiting and spending much time at dingy dodgy recording studios, which, at the time, cost him R200 an hour to use. Lx focused on recording, producing, launching and marketing campus Kwaito artists and his first album Staan en Kyk was the foundation child of Fusion Records. Lx fast became known as the record man on campus and his recording artists were given mentoring, support and even the personal effort of record distribution by Lx himself. But trials arrived early in his music career and this young producer / entrepreneur faced his first swim-or-drown battle when his lead artist Ntokzin, due to life circumstances, was forced to leave the music career to mange his responsibilities. It has always been evident that making money in the creative industry of any genre is a tough, hardcore, strength draining venture and Lx all too soon found this out.
But this was in no way meant to keep him down and worried, this was the push Lx needed to actually place the confidence of knowing that he would never let himself down into now recording his own track. Bring it back became Lx Seth’s first independently produced single that brought his suave voice to the radio waves. At 21 Lx Seth’s passion to further this calling became an even more addictive driving force and so he decided to toss aside the much awaited 21 party and instead invest this money into obtaining the services of well known producer Paul Steinbank, at a hefty R5000 per recording, this was the risk that Lx would take to see his dream be brought to life. And his 21st birthday gift to himself and music lovers alike was the release of Turn Me On, which became a number 1 single on Channel O. While his growth as a producer, lyricist and pop singer would now be taking a rise, it meant that there would be far more hard-hitting life lessons that Lx would face. Upon meeting Dharam Sewraj, Lx Seth soon signed up with T-Series India and his album Off The Hook was born. But soon as this took flight, Lx saw local radio stations slowing down the playing of his music. Why? Because that tends to be mindset of local creatives, it would seem, there is little mutual recognition, support or respect for the successes.
Just another speed hump in his journey and one Lx Seth overcame with simply upping his successes and achievements. 2016 heralds itself in with many notches of achievements on Lx Seth’s title-band, 7 releases in 10 years, the recent success of local movie Highway Sheila and now a partner in Kumaren Naidu productions, and his current entertainment line Knight Industries, the journey has only just picked up speed. Lx plans on another album release and two if not three movie releases over the next two years. And still it isn’t all about the money or title for him, having taken over the role of Head of Rocket School at AFDA, Lx is focused on grooming the young creatives to take on the industry with a stronger business decorum, using his educational background from his degree in Social Sciences, an Honours degree in Psychology and his MBA in collaboration with his unique skill sets that this music career journey has warranted him to mentor and mold the younger artists of the local creative industry.
When asked what his advice to upcoming artistes or individuals intent on pursuing a career into the music industry would be, he simply stated, “The industry has changed now, there are so many avenues that have opened up as a platform to encourage these dreams. You have to just keep at it, look at the options, it is a tough industry but investing yourself into it will get you to the success you want to achieve.”
Well put. Lx Seth, well put indeed. For a young man whose color of his skin was the reason he could not get the exposure he needed to the self-made success he is today, certainly the advice is worth noting. Like Lx Seth would say, and by that I mean he often says, “Sooo good”.
With that being said, here’s me signing off with a simplistic note, “Nothing can stop you but you. Every start to the pursuit of your goals is a small one, but all it takes is that small start and the accomplishments that follow are immense beyond all defined worth.”
Stay true to being you, stay determined and keep on keeping on.