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Biography: The life and times of Watershed

2007-03-15 16:00
They already have some enviable career highlights to look back on. Their 2002 debut album, In The Meantime, from which the massive international hit single, Indigo Girl was taken, has reached platinum status. The second album, Wrapped In Stone released in 2003, was launched at a concert in Nelson Mandela Square, Johannesburg. It attracted over 10 000 fans and the 2004 nationwide tour that followed was was old out. The album also won them a coveted SAMA Award and has gone gold.

Mosaic (2005) was released in both South Africa and Europe.

The album was written and composed by Craig Hinds and performed by Watershed, a five piece band comprising Craig Hinds (lead vocals, piano, acoustic guitar) Graham Smith (keyboards) , Hodge (bass), Nic ‘Rush’ (lead guitar) & Tulsa Pittaway (drums) It was produced by J.B. Arthur in Johannesburg, South Africa and London, U.K. where Mark Hunter and Saul Davies from British rock group, James, hopped on board to write & produce with Craig on the album’s debut single “Live Another Day” and another track, “Monday Train”. As Craig explains, “MOSAIC is a collection of my own personal thoughts on love, life and pretty much everything else.” It is a picture made up of the sum of its parts, just like any life. The life cycle of searching for, then finding, your one true love, just to reminisce about the good old days of ‘freedom’ a few years down the line, is a dilemma that most people can relate to. Do you stay? Do you go? Is the grass greener? Who knows? Contradiction and complexity make up the human spirit and this is Craig Hinds’ honest take on it all, and the result is an album that not only delivers a harder, more raw sound from Watershed but also emotional, retrospective lyrics that only a man who’s been there can deliver. He is also quick to point out that what it means to him is not the point – rather the meaning that is found by each individual listener.

“Close My Eyes”, the fourth track on the album was written with Jamie Hartman (one of the writers behind Will Young’s success) in South Africa and London. “You and I should roll the dice, one last time, ‘cos the moment I hold you to me, is when I stop running”. The song takes a poignant look at how relationships can be taken for granted and it’s only when you find yourself alone that you realise the perfect person was with you all along. Craig & Jamie also collaborated on “Letters”. On many of the tracks on this album Craig has commented that, despite tweaking, re-working and re-arranging, every song has come back to the original version, the lyric written from the heart, the chord played first because it sounded good, and the groove that inspired the song in the first place. It’s this honesty that is the foundation of Watershed’s, arguably, finest album yet. Watershed’s international recognition on the back of the first two albums happened almost simultaneously to their rise in South Africa, creating a need to accommodate their overseas fans in the form of concerts and interviews and Performing in Germany and other parts of Europe extensively in 2003. This was fantastic for their rise over there. However Craig came home to fans critisising him for leaving South African shores so readily when his popularity was reaching its height at home. The lesson has been learnt and South African fans have certainly been the focus as this time round with “Mosaic” it’s the international fans who’ll have to wait to see Watershed perform live. ‘We have spent the whole of 2006 doing focused and specific touring – culminating in our completely sold out ‘Simple Explanation’ Tour, which also provided the platform for our first ever DVD. It always amazes me that the response just keeps growing and after 2006 we can add Cape Town, Durban and PE to our list of Watershed cities!’ Added to the fact that Watershed won the SAMA for best Pop Album, 2006 has been the most incredible year and 2007 looks set to be even better’

The first single off the album, “Live Another Day,” received massive radio play across the country and is supported by possibly the biggest production of a music video South Africa has seen. The video was directed by South African commercials director and stand-up comic, Bevan Cullinan of Fresheye Films with Nina Morris of top advertising agency, Morris Jones & Co at the helm of the project.

This first single was topped by the release of the record breaking hit ‘Letters’ which has been at #1 on most charts around the country – also holding the #1 spot on the Musica Download charts for over 8 weeks.

The album has surpassed gold status, selling in excess of 44 000 albums to date and is set to go platinum shortly.

The album was released in Germany at the beginning of May 2006

There is no doubt that Watershed is here to stay, the global fan base is forever growing and the quality of song writing ever evolving.

(Adapted from EMI official release)
They're headed for rock superstardom, all the world round, but they're still all ours. Here's all you need to know about Watershed.
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