Music Interview: One Voice – Wake Up, Or A Message Four Ways

October 13, 2020

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One Voice recently released their second single, Wake Up. It’s an energetic dance track, created by Lientjie Sothman to add life to any party. It’s about music’s ability to take over your body and make you forget about your worries for while. One Voice comprises Kalinka Kilian (KK), Carla Strauss (CS), Karma Coetzer (KC) and Janke Bester (JB). The group, which combines four vocals to create a modern harmonious pop sound, was formed in 2018 after the girls met and decided to combine their skills to create something exciting in the local market. Wake Up is available on the group’s debut album, One Voice.


“Influence” is a loaded, often misunderstood concept. An artist may sound similar to another but have no knowledge of them, or be a super-fan of someone whose output is completely different to their own. Who or what was the artist, album, song, era or scene that initially mapped out the road to you becoming a musician?

CS: I’d have to say that the artist who inspired me the most to become a musician has to be Keaton Henson. He has this incredible way of creating music that just captivates you, and that’s something I’d like to be able to do one day.

KC: Justin Bieber. He started very young and when I was younger, his success motivated me to also follow my dreams no matter how young I was.

KK: When I was younger, I listened to Avril Lavigne and Pussycat Dolls and I thought I would like to be like them. I also watched a lot of shows and always had this feeling that this is what I wanted to do. There is no specific artists or song that specifically mapped out the road.

JB: I think the artist that inspired me to get into music 10 years ago was probably Taylor Swift. I absolutely loved her music and how dedicated and talented she was at such a young age was really inspiring for me.


Has that changed over the years? If so, how and why, and what are you currently exploring?

CS: I don’t think its changed that much. The only difference now is that I enjoy a lot of different genres and I try to incorporate them into my music as well.

KC: That has changed, because my reason is not becoming famous or making money anymore. Now it is making a difference in people’s lives with whatever I do.

KK: These days, I listen to a broader range of music and genres.

JB: It has changed in the sense that the music that I listen to now is different because it has more meaningful lyrics. I’m currently exploring writing my own music, concentrating on substance when it comes to the lyrics.


Name one song you wish you’d written (or, if you’re not a writer, one you’d like to be known as the definitive interpreter of). What makes that song so important?

CS: The Pugilist by Keaton Henson. Its just such an honest song, lyrically, and combining that with the musical arrangement, it just plucks every string of your heart. It’s incredibly beautiful.

KC: Another In The Fire by Hillsong. This song is so important, because it reminds people that God is always with you, even in your darkest times.

KK: Daughtry – Home. It brings back a lot of memories. I love this song – I would listen to it over and over. I love the lyrics and progressions and instrumentation. This was one of my favourite songs when I was younger.

JB: I think if there had to be one song that I wish I could’ve written it would be 1-800-273-8255 by Logic and Alessia Cara. The way the lyrics tell a story really captivates me.


In production and arrangement terms, what are facets of your music and the music you love most by others that you feel are crucially important in terms of creating the mood you’re after or supporting the message of your song?

CS: I think one of the most important parts in creating a certain type of mood is the vocals. There are so many different things you can do with your voice to bring various feelings to a song.

KC: I think it is important that a song builds up musically and that the background music is also used to tell the song’s story.

KK: This depends on the song type. Everything plays a role when you are creating a specific feel for a song. But for some song the vocals and melody play a big role. For other songs the bass and drums play a big role, and another time it might be the whole production.

JB: For me, vocals play an important role. There’s so much you can do with vocals, and being mainly a vocalist myself it’s been incredible for me to discover everything I can do with my voice and how that can add a lot to a song.


Which aspects of your music do you prioritise? For you, would you rather have that your lyrics, your melodies, or your vocals or instrumental work are the are the most memorable parts of your songs?

CS: For me, the most memorable parts of our songs differs. For some songs, it’s the melody; for others it’s the lyrics. It totally depends on the song for me.

KC: I think that the words of a song are the most important part, because they give it meaning.

KK: For me, it depends on the song. When I feel my lyrics are strong and have a strong message, I prioritise my vocals and melody so that the listener receives the message strongly. When the song is a more pop song, then it would maybe change and the instrumental might play a big role, as well as the melody. I would say that it depends on the genre and type of song because all these elements are very important.

JB: Definitely the lyrics. I’m particular about words that I sing. Lyrics bring meaning to your song, and it’s important for me to sing lyrics that evoke emotion and that have a message behind them.


What’s your favourite piece of gear?

CS: My piano, because it’s where I feel the most creative and do almost all my writing.

KC: A microphone.

KK: I have written many songs on the guitar, but nowadays I start writing some songs on the piano. It gives me two different feelings, which also influences the genre I go for or if my song is in Afrikaans or English – as well as the type of lyrics.

JB: Definitely the microphone – I can do so much with it.


What is the story behind Wake Up – the genesis of the song, the people involved, the muse behind its creation?

JB: Wake Up was written by Lientjie Sothman, who was inspired by watching people interact with each other on a daily basis. People seem to be missing the beauty in the break of dawn and sunset, the laughter and joy of just being. The busyness of life robs people of everything pure and precious. The song was written to encourage people to relive the beauty of everything that surrounds us.

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