By BRUCE DENNILL
Die Heuwels Fantasties recently released new single Jy Stel My Teleur ahead of a new album. Singer Pierre Greeff, who also heads up music label Supra Familias and co-owns the Liefde By Die Dam festival., offers insights into his musical perspectives.
“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?
That’s an interesting one. I guess its somewhere between the BZN my parents played on holidays in the kombi, the first records I bought, beginning with Michael Jackson’s Dangerous and Shaggy’s Boombastic, and my favourite band in high school – Everclear; all their albums. There’s some pretty serious research showing that no music can ever compare to the music you listened to in those formative pubescent years.
Has that changed over the years? If so, how and why, and what are you currently exploring?
I am definitely inspired by any of the really big pop songs. What I love most is the fact that pop isn’t a genre. It’s more a container for something that cuts through the noise.
Name one song you wish you’d written. What makes that song so important?
I think that would have to be A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke. It’s just perfect – it’s message, performance, arrangement and production.
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?
I think that lyrics and melody has always been what we try and highlight in our music. That being said, those songs without the right arrangement and production can fail to do what they’re supposed to do and I guess in our mind that what cuts through the clutter.
The music industry is no longer a single-narrative operation. For you, what is the best way to get your music from your head to potential listeners? Please comment on digital means (from social media to full streaming and download distribution), playing live (how often; where; to whom), being a cottage industry (selling CDs from a box in your car) and any other creative channels you’ve explored.
I believe it’s all of the above. If you have a song and something to say, rather say, record and release it now than sit on it. It’s imperative to use every single touchpoint or platform available to you as musician to showcase your music, though playing live and touring is probably the most important if you want to grow.
In terms of the above, is there a gap between what you envisioned and what you are experiencing now? Does it matter, and if so, how do you close that gap?
No. I think we went into our band with eyes open and have been touring the project extensively since inception! It’s quite ironic, as we thought DHF would be a side project…
What is the story behind Jy Stel My Teleur – the genesis of the song, the people involved, and the muse behind its creation?
It’s the first single that we have released ahead of our sixth album, which should be out sooner than later. It’s a bit different, as each of us takes a turn to sing a part of the song on our own rather than just me singing most of it and the other guys doing backing. We have always tried to make music that is universal in its themes and that people can easily relate to. This song, I think, probably succeeds in this constant quest of ours. Hey, who hasn’t been disappointed or has not disappointed someone before?