Music Interview: Basson Laas – Tightly Bound, Or Dreaming Of Dynamics

November 16, 2023

 

By BRUCE DENNILL

 

Tightly Bound is the debut single from singer-songwriter Basson Laas.

 

What are the aspects of music that most appeal to or thrill you as a listener, from lyrics to arrangements to instruments used to production techniques?

Most of the time I’m interested in how a song is structured and how it progresses. I really like music that starts out quiet or slow but then has a massive, climactic ending. I love classical music and appreciate it when any music tends to have a classical undertone or mix between that and something else – especially having brass or string sections to complement the melody when necessary. Lyrically, I prefer songs that play with words and phrases to make one wonder what the meaning might be and makes people relate to them in different ways.

 

Are those the same things you try to recreate in your writing or performance?

I think it’s definitely something I’m striving for. But I also think each song should take on its own sound. If it allows for something else then go with it. I told someone the other day that when, one day, I have the money for a full-on production with an orchestra, I’d love to do that! It’s high on my bucket list. It has to be well-composed and emotionally charged. I saw this video of a Jon Bellion concert at Cove City where he performs with a whole orchestra. That is something special.

 

Which aspect of creating music comes most easily to you, and which requires the most discipline and practice?

Especially when performing background music at weddings and corporate events, it comes easily to me to read the vibe of the guests and adjust my setlist or even the way I play and sing accordingly. It’s a relaxing experience for me as well. It takes a little more effort for me at the moment to bring the audience a story they would like to hear during a performance. I’m not a big talker, so my crowd interaction could really be focused on more if I’m planning on doing more and more original performances. But I’m definitely getting better.

 

Live performance: which artist has most impressed you in terms of what they deliver on stage?

There are so many artists that truly deliver on stage, but the Afrikaans rock band Spoegwolf are doing it exceptionally well. From the get-go, they demand and retain your attention throughout their performance and their energy and tightness between each other on stage are admirable. That comes with lots of passion and confidence and years and years of perfecting it.

 

What role does music play in your life on a day-to-day basis – listening to it, writing it, practising it, buying and selling it, performing it, etc?

Since I started performing full-time, it’s a constant focus on all of the above. I don’t want to stagnate. I’m constantly on Spotify listening to old favourites and exploring new releases. It inspires me to hear how other artists I like keep on sharing beautiful music. I often wonder and hope that it would help me get into the same mindspace and produce something similar. Not only that, but learning to play other artists’ intricate songs on the guitar enhances my skill at playing the instrument and helps me shape what I can do. It takes practice and perfecting and definitely won’t come overnight. Other than that? Music is like a soundtrack to our lives and can create a pleasant mood. No one likes it if it’s so cold and quiet in the house. So play something!

 

What is your most recent release? What is the story behind it – the genesis of the song, the people involved, the muse behind its creation?

My latest release is my debut EP, Good Morning Dreamer. It’s the first four of a collection of many songs I’ve written since 2009 that I finally got the chance to record. I chose to record an EP instead of a single to have my debut contain more than one song for people to listen to. I recorded it at Good Morning Sweet Songbird Studios with Werner Khatz as the producer and the two of us crafted something special from my previously acoustic-only songs. The general message of the EP is that there is hope in this world. It’s saying that it’s okay that we are foolish when we are young (Strangers) and that there is a silver lining during frightening times (Tightly Bound). It pays tribute to old relationships (Guardian Angel) and it talks about staying true to new people (Tall).

 

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