We chat to Johnny Clegg about his new album, his sons and future plans

2016-07-07 18:00

Cape Town – Legendary SA musician Johnny Clegg recently released a brand new album of 17 remixed tracks, titled JOHNNY CLEGG: 2016.

And hot on the heels of this release he also released a brand new video for one of the songs, Take My Heart Away, which was directed by his son Jaron.

We had the awesome opportunity to chat to Johnny about all of this.

Check it out here:

How did the idea for the album come about? And how did you choose the artists/producers who worked on the tracks?

The idea came from my publisher whose job it is to continually revitalise the repertoire of my published works. He suggested we try and introduce my music to dance audiences and see if there was anything that could work. He sent me one remix of Cruel Crazy Beautiful World and I liked it. He then contracted Dj’s from all over to do remixes of all my singles and the project was born .

What is your favourite remix off the new album and why?

Take My Heart Away. It keeps the original zulu guitar and choruses intact and does some great edits. 

You’re such a legend in the SA and global music industry, and you’ve achieved what most people just dream of – is there still anything you feel you want to accomplish or do that you haven’t yet?

Finish my autobiography.

What’s it like to have your son Jesse in the same industry that you’re in? Does he ever ask for your advice?

We talk to each other a lot about music. He keeps me up to date with new trends and bands. He has his own musical direction and  dream which he has been extremely committed to. We don’t necessarily agree on taste or songs which we listen to, but that’s normal for any artist.

You also worked with your other son Jaron recently for a new music video, what was it like working with him? Do you like the end result?

It was a pure accident. Jaron is a filmmaker and he develops scripts and stories for short films he does. Last year, by chance he told me the story of a short film he wanted to do about a kid in an informal settlement who has a dream of becoming an astronaut. When the re-mix of Take My Heart Away came out, my publisher said we should do a video. The song is about following your dreams and yearning for something better than what the world is showing you. I asked him if he would change the short film into a video and pitch it to the publisher which he did, and the publisher commissioned him to do it. I was on tour in the USA when Jaron shot the video. When I came back it was in the can  and being edited. The end result is an uplifting story with great visuals.

Are there any up and coming local artists you would like to collaborate with?

Black Coffee  and Zahara.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received during your career?

You need emotional and intellectual stamina to keep true to artistic aim.

Where can we see you perform next?

15th and 16th July at Montecasino Teatro.

And what’s next for you?

France at the end of July and finishing my autobiography.

For more information on Johnny Clegg’s next gigs like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter.

Read more on:    johnny clegg  |  local music

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