By BRUCE DENNILL
“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?
It was definitely Micheal Jackson. And actually, to be honest, Eighties music as a whole as well. Growing up, my dad would play all sorts of Eighties music. Depeche Mode, Erasure, Modern Talking and then of course, MJ. He just stood out for me. My dad would put his DVD on in the room I used to play in at his workshop when I waited for my mom after school and I eventually started copying his dance moves. This was where I got into dancing and then, eventually, music as a whole. Thanks Dad, I see what you did there.
Has that changed over the years? If so, how and why, and what are you currently exploring?
Now, my influences also include Lady Gaga. I love her authenticity and her performances. I think I’m most attracted to incredible performers as this is, along with writing, my favourite part of being a musician. Queen is another influence.
Name one song you wish you’d written or one you’d like to be known as the definitive interpreter of. What makes that song so important?
I wish I wrote…wow, so many songs. Thriller, The Show Must Go On, Shallow – the list goes on. I do believe that every song is great in its own right, though. To me, it’s an expression of the artist or writer, and honestly you can’t really fault that.
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?
Melodies and lyrics. That’s what stands out for me.
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 or similar) and any other creative channels you’ve explored.
This is so open-ended, as the possibilities are endless these days. Of course we have social media which, if used correctly, is such a powerful tool in any marketing strategy. And there are streaming platforms like Spotify and Deezer and iTunes. These can be costly and hard to even be found on without the right playlists and audience in general. I feel radio is still super-powerful, as is word of mouth. Even simply sending your song to all your friends can make such a difference.
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?
In terms of there being a gap in what I envisioned relative to what I’m experiencing, there definitely is one. I thought that in this day in age it would actually be easier to get my music noticed, but it has proven to be more difficult as the industry is so saturated with artists due to it being easy to get it out there! I believe that through persistence, anyone can achieve their dreams – and that is what I’ll do.
What is the story behind Undone – the genesis of the song, the people involved, the muse behind its creation?
Undone brings back the summer European vibes that I experienced last July in Croatia. It’s about a certain person who truly hurt me and in saying that can also be perceived as any person who has hurt you and literally makes you feel as though you come “undone” when you are in contact with them. You literally act like something you aren’t. That’s the basics of what the song is about. There isn’t really a specific story with this one. It’s more like a few little stories and even friends and family’s experiences that I pulled from. It is a summer house mix inspired by my past Euro trip and my producer, Tjaart van der Walt, really helped me capture the vibe I was looking for. After being mastered by Rogan Kelsey it just came together exactly how I wanted it. All my music comes from a real place of emotion and from my own experiences. I like to make music that I would like to listen to. That my friends would like to listen to and listeners can relate to.