Cape Town – In a month’s time the 8th instalment of the Cape Town Folk 'n Acoustic Music Festival, featuring an array of top South African artists, will be taking place at the Baxter theatre. What is the Cape Town Folk 'n Acoustic Music Festival? Well, it’s a show featuring top South African artists who will perform completely acoustically in an intimate, concert-style setting. Artists set to perform include David Kramer, Valiant Swart, MacStanley, Tailor and Donovan Copley (Hot Water). Their performances will be stripped down to the essence of the songs.
We got to ask Tailor, Fruit Vendor and Donovan Copley from Hot Water a few questions ahead of the show...
Channel24: Are you looking forward to playing this year’s Folk fest and why?
Tailor: This will be my first Folk Fest and I am very excited and honoured to join such an incredible line-up.
Donovan Copley: No, because I have to figure out a way to be better then David Kramer.
Fruit Vendor: Yes, I'm definitely very excited to play the Folk Fest. It's a really great opportunity to get the music I do exposed to a wider, appreciative, listening audience, in addition to being featured on a line-up with so many amazing artists. I've spent a lot of time dreaming about playing at great events like this one, so getting invited to perform is like a dream come true. It will also be my first time playing at the Baxter as a solo artist.
I particular am looking forward to sharing the platform with David Kramer, since he's one of my creative heroes. One who inspired much of the dynamic, eclectic nature of my own material. A few years ago, I was very inspired - having read his biography - so I'm hoping he'll get a chance to autograph/sign my copy of his book at the event.
C24: What can people expect from your performance at the festival?
T: Because it’s such a short set I have chosen three of my favourite songs for the night. Raw talent and a lot of soul will be seen and felt.
DC: The unexpected.
FV:I've always tried to offer something especially different when writing and performing music - I love the idea of bringing seemingly disparate musical elements together in a fresh, exciting and previously unexplored way. Along with the traditional singer-songwriter approach, I mix rap and spoken-word poetry with that to create a gentle, accessible and accommodating style of singing, which is then contrasted with bombastic rap lyrics. This is all underpinned by solid storytelling, sing along sections for crowd interaction and a dose of humour for good measure.
C24: What’s the one thing no one knows about you?
T: After a show I prefer going straight home. I don't socialise as much as I use to, so I prefer taking my laptop on the road to watch my favourite series and enjoy it with a warm glass of milk.
DC: That there is more than one thing that no one knows about me…
FV: Not many people know that I'm an actor (drama graduate) as well. People always tend to think I only do music, but I do a lot of both quite voraciously. So, I get to experience the comfort of being behind an instrument a lot - and the discomfort of being fully exposed on the theatre stage. Best of both worlds :)
C24: If you could give up and coming musicians advice, what would you tell them?
T: It's a hard game but anyone can play it, if you play it right, you need a strong will and lots of patience, it will be up to you on how far your success is reached. It can be harsh but, you need to stay positive, that's what I have taken from the last 15 years of being in this industry.
DC: Why do you really want to play music?
FV: The biggest thing I've learnt doing music and art in general, is that nobody has a blueprint for success - each artist's journey is unique. Modelling your journey too closely on that of someone else is counter-intuitive and leads to unnecessary and often paralysing expectations - which is unhealthy for your creativity and your life in general. For the sake of the question, I'll reference what has worked for me:
You have to work really hard to reach a level of competency and skill, so that's imperative. You also have to explore and consume many different kinds of creative media, whether music, books, films, poetry, theatre etc to get a good reference point for creating poignant artworks. Once you've explored enough, then you can find your true creative voice - oftentimes it will be a combination of all the great work you've studied and therefore, the lives of the heroes (the giants) who went before you. In terms of songwriting, you have to study people and become sensitive to the intricacies of the human condition. And then, you have to write a lot of songs (mostly terrible at first), before the good stuff happens. While that is happening, you should seek out performance opportunities wherever you can and get your experience up.
That said, you have to become friends with failure and disappointment - and learn the grace to continue working at your craft despite the inevitable setbacks. This in turn teaches you to not judge yourself so heavily when things don't always go your way. It also teaches you the grace to be present (in the moment) and appreciative when things DO go the way you wanted.
C24: What’s next for you?
T: I would really like to perform abroad. My music is doing really well in America and ever since my track "Shaped Like a Gun" got picked up by "So You Think You Can Dance" in LA my album sales have increased. There are a few exciting things in the pipeline, so I believe that it will all happen real soon!
DC: What’s next for you? The unexpected.
FV: At the moment I'm in studio almost every day recording on two projects simultaneously. The first is my debut solo Fruit Vendor EP called Giants, which is nearly done and which I'm so excited about. The second is my band Brother & Brother's official EP which has just gone into production. Other than that, I'm just doing gigs around the city and playing like everyone else.
The line-up:Friday 7 August: David Kramer, Valiant Swart, MacStanley, Tailor, Medicine Boy, Donovan Copley from Hotwater, Andra, Wren Hinds, Faye Oakes, Roger Lucey, Bill Knight Fruit Vendor, Chris Verge, Jasmine Minter.Saturday 8 August: David Kramer, Valiant Swart, MacStanley, Tailor, Donovan Copley from Hotwater, Nicky Schrire, Ariella Caira, Rocking Horse, Andra, Timothy Hutchinson, Jono Grayson, Tony Cedras, Dave Reynolds, Basson Laubscher.Tickets cost from R195 to R175 per ticket and are available through Computicket.
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